2 Ways to Create Solitude and Silence

  By Ginny Jensen “How to Actually Concentrate” by Carolyn Yates addresses concentration in our everyday life. It also has a great application to how we approach our relationship with the Lord. Time with the Lord requires more than going through the motions. We often struggle to concentrate on the mundane things of life. So, how do we focus on the Lord? Yates provides several tools in her article to help build concentration or focus. She points out that we are so used to multi-tasking that we struggle to focus on one thing. In our time with the Lord, do…
April 29, 2020

3 Principles For Times of Anxiety

  By Ming Perrello, MS, LPC I confess that I have been anxious. My sleep has often been fitful. My body is tense and I feel restless. I am easily irritated. I feel busy yet I am busier in my mind than with my hands. Who can blame me?  I live near the epicenter of the COVID-19 hotspot of New York City. The climate here is tense; just about everyone knows someone who has the virus. I am a caregiver to my husband who has multiple sclerosis, a memory-impaired 88-year-old father, and a brother who is a paraplegic.  I am…
April 28, 2020

Hot and Cold Climate Cultures

By Bruce Thomas  Foreign to Familiar: A Guide to Understanding Hot and Cold Climate Cultures by Sarah Lanier is an especially important book for all beginning global workers. It explains several basic cultural differences encountered by people across the world. If a person has never been exposed to a culture other than their own, this is a particularly good place to start. The book is in no way exhaustive of cultural differences. It also does not cover the specifics of every culture or country. The book is meant to provide a general overview of how cultural differences can affect thinking…
April 27, 2020

Meme, Myself and Isolation

Health for the Whole Person by Christy Otten, MA, LCPC The internet has been awash with memes about the coronavirus. You may have seen the one(s) about Isaac Newton: He discovered theories of gravity and motion during a plague—the message clearly being that you can do a lot while staying inside. Then, there are the ones especially for parents—one tells us that while you, as the parent, know this is a crisis, your children may only remember scavenger hunts, family game nights, and the immense amount of together time. Imagine the family memories you can create! If I’m being honest,…
April 24, 2020

Shelter in Place: Hannah

  By Ginny Jensen Sometimes, when we feel like we are captive, it has nothing to do with our location. Loss, physical limitations, or broken relationships (to name a few) can hold us captive. Consider Hannah. She was barren in a society that gave honor to childbearing. She was provoked by her rival. Her husband deeply loved her, but her deep desire for a child left her anxious, grieved, and frustrated. In the midst of her grief, she poured out her heart in the temple and was seen by the high priest, Eli. Hannah told Eli the priest about her…
April 20, 2020

Shelter in Place: Jesus

  By Ginny Jensen Shelter in Place usually means home. When Jesus left heaven, it was like leaving his home. He was perfect yet living in a broken world. Jesus remained close to the Father while on earth. He made choices based on the word of the Father. He was abiding. Jesus’ time alone prior to Satan’s tempting him gives insight into his practices to maintain intimacy with the Father. It included fasting and solitude. He was able to refute Satan, showing his familiarity with Scripture. Imagine those days alone in prayer and meditation; silently listening to the Father. Solitude…
April 19, 2020

The Inner Life, World, and Vision of Healthy Cross-Cultural Servants

  By Dr. Dennis Ahern, Director, Paraclete Services  “You really like your work,” observed an eager short-term missionary after a few days of serving alongside me in Asia. In that moment, her question perplexed me and so I replied, “If I didn’t like my work, I’d change jobs. What led you to this observation?” She responded, “Our team travels on short-term assignments and we serve many career missionaries living in Asia. I’ve decided that many missionaries hate their work.” How accurate is this young woman’s observation today? Is ministry to be enjoyed or do we discover God’s will only after…
April 17, 2020

Shelter in Place: Joseph

  By Ginny Jensen  Shelter in Place can mean very different things for people. Some live in mansions, small homes, or on the street. Joseph had several places during his lifetime. He lived in his family home until his brothers threw him into a pit. From there, he traveled with traders and was sold as a slave. The extremes of his lodging went from prison to the king’s palace. Imagine how disruptive life would have been for Joseph. Consider the unmet dreams for his life. We may wonder, during those years of captivity, if he thought about the unfulfilled dreams…
April 16, 2020

On Canoeing The Mountains

  A commentary on Canoeing the Mountains  By A.D. Brown Full disclosure: I hate leadership books. Ok, maybe hate is a wee bit too strong. I find them overpromising and underdelivering. The last thing I have time for is 7 keys to this or 12 secrets for that and how to have a megachurch like me in 3 easy steps. So, when I picked up Canoeing the Mountains, I had expected more of the same. I was willing to read up to 25% before I gave up. To my surprise, I didn’t give up but just finished it! Using Lewis…
April 14, 2020

Shelter in Place: Daniel

  By Ginny Jensen  Most people these days can be grateful for being at home. For some, they may be “stuck” someplace else. They, like Daniel in the Old Testament, have an added amount of discomfort. Daniel was in exile, taken to Babylon. Nothing was normal for Daniel and his fellow exiles. Daniel remained faithful to his prayer time. He continued even after the king’s decree. Prayer is never more crucial than at times like these. We serve a God who hears; he knows, and he is in control. The Psalms offer examples of prayers of lament. Honestly tell the…
April 13, 2020