. . . 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?”
We think the “typical” pastor’s wife or woman in ministry is dead. You know, that woman who had it all together, never seemed to struggle, played the piano, attended every event, and met everyone’s expectations—although she could have had some help with her wardrobe.
Those of us in ministry have heard, read and said “I’m not the typical pastor’s wife” so many times, we’ve started to wonder if she really ever existed at all, or if she really only existed in people’s minds and expectations. We spend mass amounts of time, energy, emotion, and effort comparing ourselves to a myth. And the problem is—we fall short. Our attention turns to our shortcomings and failings instead of staying focused on God and who He created us to be.
But the truth is, God knew exactly what He was doing, exactly who He was calling. He knows our shortcomings and our struggles, and He has extended His call to leadership and ministry anyway....
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...
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessolonians 5:18
One of the most difficult things for me to understand as a grieving mother, and as a Christian, is how to be thankful in all things. I read a daily devotional and over and over again it tells me no matter what adversities we face to always give thanks to God.
Well, I’ll be honest with you; I did not comprehend how I was to be thankful when I was mourning the loss of my only child. I thought I was a bad Christian because I couldn’t seem to grasp this central message in the Bible.
I’m still not all the way to understanding it, but I have started to see glimpses of comprehension coming through. It is hard for us to trust and be thankful in all circumstances of our life, but that is exactly what we are called to do by God: To come to Him with a thankful heart. To let go and trust Him to take care of us...
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6 (NIV 1984)
I put my head against my bedroom wall, closed my eyes, and whispered, “There’s no way.” 10 years ago, my world collided with what seemed like an impossible invitation from God: adopt two teen boys from war-torn Liberia.
No matter how many times I whispered, “there’s no way,” this nagging sense of possibility wouldn’t leave me. It wove its way through every fiber of my being until I stood up and shifted everything I thought my family would be with one weakly whispered, “Yes.”
I can honestly say, there were moments of sheer joy where I felt reassured that I’d heard God right.
But there were many other moments where life felt chaotic, messy, and really hard. There were tears. There were times I wondered if I’d heard God wrong.
There were more times even after we adopted where I said,...
Nahum had devastating news for the people of God. Their city would be destroyed. His book of prophecy, however, focused them — and us — on the character of God. That’s where his message of doom starts, and that’s where the hope of all ages begins: “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power” (Nah. 1:3).
It’s because of the greatness of God’s character that we must take Him seriously, even when the news is overwhelming.
Nahum writes in chapter one, verse seven, words that are among the most comforting in all of Scripture: “The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him.”
From Women of Faith Devotional Bible. Copyright © 2003 (Thomas Nelson, Inc.) Used by permission.
On January 18, 1989, my husband died. In a matter of seconds, I went from living in the light to walking in the dark.
And I’ve always been afraid of the dark.
I can give no compelling reason for my fear, but it’s there. As a child, I went to sleep with a night-light. At night I still keep the bathroom light on and leave the door slightly open. When I enter our home, I hit the light switches; the more the better. No one will ever find me walking through a pitch-black field or along an unlit beach.
It’s not just the physical darkness. I also strongly dislike being “kept in the dark.” I’m one of those people who reads the first chapter of a book to get the plot and then immediately skips over to the final chapter. Something in me has to know how everything turns out. Only then can I enjoy the middle of the book.
On that day in 1989, I began a walk having no idea how or where it would end, or how long it would take. I couldn’t have prepared for...