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Sorrows Too Deep for Words

Within a two-week period, three families in my circle have been devastated by an untimely death. A young couple lost an infant son who died two days after birth. A

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A Favorite Simple Thing

Life for me has always felt complicated. It’s not just my byzantine history or the complexity of various current situations. I work daily with people whose lives have been upended

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Welcome to the World

This year’s celebration of Valentine’s Day was uniquely spectacular as I received far more than the most lavish flower arrangement, expensive gift, or special culinary creation. Our family embraced an

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Angels All Around

During a difficult stretch a few weeks ago, I found myself in an intense grieving space around losses and trauma, including painful childhood experiences. More sharply than in years, I

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Pain and the Power of Presence

Pain is fickle, apt to lurch forward like an all-consuming wildfire that laps at your heels and chokes your throat. It can sneak up on you, despite your awareness of

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Being Well

Bethesda Workshops’ name comes from a biblical story in John 5 about a paralyzed man who had been lying at the Pool of Bethesda in Jerusalem for 38 years. It

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Fridge and Friends

The plumber who came to our home this fall was excellent at his trade, but we discovered that’s not what was most important about him. Charles Dobbins’ love for and

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Thanksgiving Memories 2018

The Thanksgiving image that always comes first to my mind isn’t of pumpkin or turkey or some crowded living room. It’s of my toddler self looking wide-eyed out the window

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Generosity Big and Small

We recently had a party at Bethesda Workshops that took 21 years to plan: a celebration of ownership of our own space! In early summer 2016, we located and “bought”

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Personal, Not Political

I’ve hesitated for weeks to write anything about current events out of concern not for myself, but for the amazing ministry I am humbled to lead. I have no wish

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A Welcome Click

Recently, I was privileged to hear veteran journalist Tom Brokaw speak at Lipscomb University, my alma mater. For over 50 years Brokaw has been one of the most visible and respected newsmen in the world. Like millions of Americans, I grew up watching him on NBC, and I was familiar with his presence and accomplishments. What surprised and touched me was his humanness and humility.

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Going for the Gold

Like millions of Americans, every four years I become a total couch potato and watch dozens of hours of televised sports I know very little about (curling, anyone?) and don’t

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New Every Morning

When I considered what to share at the beginning of 2018, I read through some prior New Year’s greetings and found one from a few years ago that still seems

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Ready for Advent

This week I’m sharing a blog by one of my favorite thinkers and writers: my son-in-law, Chris Cox. He serves as a youth minister in Nashville and often stirs my

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Choose Thanksgiving

Choose Thanksgiving The idea behind the Thanksgiving holiday is so simple: Spend a day focused on gratitude, and share it with those you love. Most years I welcome my family

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Helping Hands in Hell or High Water

The expression “come hell or high water” likely originated in the American West of the late 1800s in reference to cattle herders who crossed large prairies in the scorching summer heat (“hell”) and forged raging rivers (“high waters”) to get livestock to a railroad. It generally means a determination to accomplish something despite tough odds or difficulties.

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When the World Is Too Much With Us

Too often lately, I feel paralyzed and exhausted by all the pain in the world. Whether it's hate-mongers, an unstable political landscape, or the individual traumas that affect us all, sometimes "the world feels too much with us." Most days, I'm a hot mess. With alarming regularity, I realize I, too, am part of the problem. How do I respond in reflection of the mercy of a loving God?

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Three R’s

Sometimes life has more to teach me than the standard three R's I learned in elementary school. These lessons are both simpler and harder than "reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic.."

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In Sickness and In Health

Two wives from past Bethesda Workshops’ intensives have contacted me within recent weeks. Each was swirling in a vortex of equal parts pain and gratitude, and they were reaching out

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Two Sides of Tenacity

Last summer shortly after Bethesda Workshops had first contracted for our building, David and I spent most of the Fourth of July weekend pulling the green growth from the back

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To Need or Lend a Hand

Compassion and courage were all it took to rescue a family caught in a deadly rip current recently in Panama City Beach, Florida. Nothing else was available, and it turns

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Notice the Signs

The sign is clear. Sitting in the middle of the road, with only a narrow lane available for local traffic into the small condominium complex at the edge of the

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Crappy Lessons

When a participant at a Healing for Men Workshop asked for a plunger one Friday afternoon, I knew it was a bad sign. I declined his offer to deal with

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