I have always loved stained glass windows. Since childhood while attending church, I would sit fixated on the stained glass windows in the sanctuary. It was something I had always wanted to learn but only recently was I finally able to acquire the skill of how to make them. I only took four classes but I was consumed by it, loving the creativeness . . . until the death of my only child, Ryan.
After that, my artistic interest waned. I was lost in deep mourning and all attention to that wonderful pastime disappeared. Instead of spending hours in my shop designing and making glass panels; I spent hours in the darkness of grief. I thought I would never feel that creativity within me again.
After eight months I told myself it was time to start thinking about doing a glass project. As I looked at the shards of glass that had been left scattered on my work table; I began to see that my life was much the same as those random fragments. A life shattered by tragedy. Each piece of glass...
Taking time to listen to God and to discern what He’s calling us to do is a discipline we all can embrace. Sometimes in our great need to be heard we forget that listening allows God to be heard. I believe I’ve learned more in the silence, listening to Him, than I’ve ever learned as I prayed and begged Him for answers. At times I wasn’t even asking the right questions, but when I quieted my mind and listened, really listened, I heard what I needed to hear.
Contemplative listening is a rich experience for those willing to make time to be still in God’s presence. Set aside ten minutes and just be quiet. Turn off the music, the phone, and the television. Be quiet and invite God to speak to you in your spirit. As you grow comfortable with the silence and learn to hear God’s voice, I think you’ll want to set aside longer periods of time in which you deliberately listen for His counsel.
When I actually get quiet and listen, I find that God usually...
In general, I’ve discovered there are two types of women: those who love women’s conferences/retreats and those who do not. I fall into the former category. I absolutely love women, hearing from them, learning from them, being challenged by them. Tell me when/where, and I’m there.
A friend of mine (a fellow conference-attender) flew into town to join me for the OKC Women of Faith conference. We’ve been before. In fact, I’ve been many, many times. I go expecting to love it. And this time my expectation was no different.
But this year my expectations went no further than that. Time away from the demands of life, surrounded by godly women, awesome music, and some good speakers/storytellers. My idea of a good weekend. I didn’t expect what happened.
God. That’s what happened. I mean, He’s always there. But this time He was in my stuff. Before we left the opening session Friday night I knew this was no ordinary weekend conference. And by the...
One morning I was alone in my room confessing (yet again) the sin I had walked into. I was really struggling and beaten down by the accuser hurling my sin in my face, telling me the familiar lie that God could not, did not love me. I cried out to God for forgiveness and begged Him to in some way show me He loved me that day. I needed visible, concrete assurance of His love. I got up from praying and, with the activities of being a mother of four, I soon forgot my request and went about my day.
We were living in Lancaster, PA at the time, roughly a five-hour drive from my parents in New Castle, PA. In the afternoon I was having a conversation with my oldest son when I was surprised by the front door opening. When I turned to see who was entering the house, I was surprised to see it was my dad. Usually there would be phone calls and coordination before a visit. Not this time.
When I asked why he decided to visit, his reply was touching. He said, "I just woke up and was overwhelmed by...
From bestselling author Max Lucado comes The Christmas Candle, a timeless holiday film for the entire family.
Deep in the heart of the English countryside lies the enchanting village of Gladbury. Legend has it every 25 years an angel visits the village candlemaker and touches a single candle. Whoever lights this candle receives a miracle on Christmas Eve. But in 1890, at the dawn of the electric age, this centuries-old legend may come to an end.
When David Richmond (Hans Matheson), a progressive young minister, arrives in Gladbury, the villagers discover a new formula for miracles: good deeds and acts of kindness. While David's quest to modernize Gladbury sets him at odds with the old world candlemaker, he finds an unlikely ally in the lovely skeptic, Emily Barstow (Samantha Barks). Now, the fiery candlemaker must fight to preserve the legacy of the Christmas Candle. But when the candle goes missing, the miraculous and human collide in the most astonishing Christmas the village of...
. . . More often than not, I find myself compartmentalizing God. He is more welcome in some areas of my life than others. Prayer, Bible study, Scripture memorization, journaling, and other spiritual disciplines become like items to be checked off a to-do list that is eventually crumpled up and thrown away rather than savored and reflected upon. The result is that my understanding and perception of God is clouded, much like the dingy haze of the pollution that hangs over most major cities. The person in the middle of a city looking up at the sky doesn’t always realize just how much their view and perceptions are altered by the smog. Without symptoms such as burning eyes or an official warning of scientists or media, no one may even notice just how bad the pollution has become.
That’s why I describe God as organic. While it’s a word usually associated with food grown without chemical-based fertilizers or pesticides, organicis also used to describe a...
Dear Women of Faith,
What a great calling that is, isn’t it? To be women of faith—wives of faith, daughters of faith, sisters of faith, mothers of faith. I can imagine God smiling as he sees all of his beautiful daughters exercising their faith in all of their various roles.
And sometimes it is an exercise—not a walk in the park, but a struggle to lift heavy burdens or push against hard things. We all experience these times, and often, in our closest relationships.
I want to share with you all some things I’ve learned along this journey in my relationship with my husband Ken…
It’s funny, but I have a hard time these days just writing “Joni.” I always want to write “Joni and Ken.” No, not as though it were stamped on a wedding napkin or written on a house mortgage document. It’s more visceral than that. Thirty years have passed since Ken and I began our journey together, and God has used every...
Dear Women of Faith,
Words are powerful and possess life or death, as Proverbs 18:21 warns us. Words can build up and edify or they can destroy and cause us to forget who we are and ignore why we were created.
God rescued me from a life in which I was unnamed, unwanted, and unqualified by the world’s standards. But through Him, I overcame abuse, abandonment, fears, and rejection to live the life God has called me to live. He has called you to live that same life, to hear your name called and become an unstoppable force for the kingdom.
You are called to live life UNDAUNTED!
Christ has given us a name. It is a simple, one word, four-letter name. And that name is love. This name rings loudly through time and space because YOU have been chosen before time, and in His time, and beyond time.
Can you hear Him calling your name?
The UNDAUNTED study offers life-transforming insights about not only how to overcome the trials, wrong turns, and often painful circumstances we...
I’m having SO much fun on tour with Women of Faith this year. Maybe we’ve met in your city already and shared some laughs. Or maybe the Women of Faith tour is coming to a city near you in the next few weeks.
There’s one thing I know for sure – I love meeting new friends. If I could, I’d take you out to a café and sip my complicated, slightly high-maintenance latte drink while you tell me all about your story.
But since we’re only screen-to-screen right now, I thought I’d share some dialogue I’ve had with friends I’ve met while traveling and speaking.
I’m asked lots of questions when I meet people at conferences.
“How did you get started speaking and writing?”
“Why do you look so much better in person than the pictures on your books?”
“How did you forgive those that hurt you so much?”
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. (Proverbs 31:26 ESV)
The other day my son, a smart preteen, was up to the challenge of washing the dishes. He didn’t give me an attitude when asked. He wasn’t disrespectful. He didn’t drag his feet. So why was I battling the urge to harshly point out how he was doing it all wrong?
Because he wasn’t doing it my way.
He started with the grimy pots, then moved to the plates and silverware. Finally, he had to bubble up more water to spit-shine the glasses. While working, he stacked plastic cups in a pyramid.
Irritation welled up. An unkind reaction was itching to come out. I could easily have let my mama mouth take over: It uses way more water to wash the dishes in that order. Plus the water is filthy now! Stop playing with those cups while you work. You’re so slow.
I wanted to be a control freak. I wanted to fire off the unkind words hidden in my unspoken thoughts: The only way...