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Don't forget to make some memories!

The Miracle of Bethesda

Posted by on Dec 1, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

The acoustics in the Church of Saint Anne in Jerusalem are out of this world. The sound echoes and plays on the walls, transforming the music of our small group so that it sounds like a much larger group is singing. Our tour group sang the old hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” although I simply mouthed the words because the last thing this holy site needed was the horror of my singing voice amplified by these walls. My voice is enough to make even a saint faint. But fortunately our group had some beautiful voices… O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder Consider all the worlds Thy hands hath made, I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed… The day we visited Saint Anne’s was a gorgeous spring afternoon, with...

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The Ministry of Tucking Them In

Posted by on Oct 29, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Bedtime. The word both excites and exhausts me. It excites me because I savor the quiet downtime between tucking in the kids and going to bed myself. It exhausts me because of the amount of work I must do between dinner and lights out – mealtime chores, showers, pajamas, last-minute homework… Sometimes—lots of times—I rush through our bedtime routine because I’m more tired than the kids. I forget how much those moments matter to my children. My always-busy son has so very much to say once the lights go out, and he’s finally still. My teenaged daughter opens her heart in prayer, and I catch a glimpse of what’s going on deep inside. My second-grader wants to snuggle and thank God for everything in her world. They all seem to treasure those moments with Mom and Dad before they...

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When the Plan Changes

Posted by on Aug 26, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 1 comment

Lean in close, I have a secret to tell. “I am a recovering control freak.” Seriously. Life is good when things go according to plan, when nothing too crazy happens, and when people behave themselves. But if things start to veer too far off course, I get anxious. God has grown me a lot in this area over the last few years, though. I’m learning to raise the white flag, to trust Him and listen to His voice when things seem out of control. I had an opportunity to practice this recently. My child was very loudly and quite passionately objecting to the word no. I knew I couldn’t give in to the tantrum. Such behavior was unacceptable. I needed to make the child stop. But all my efforts were in vain. Every discipline or redirection seemed to make things...

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The Triumph of Christ

Posted by on Jul 29, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, History by the Slice | 0 comments

My wife, Nancy, and I worked our way down the narrow, noisy, twisting, congested street in Jerusalem known as the Via Dolorosa, or “The Way of Sorrows.” This is the route that tradition says Jesus followed, carrying His cross through the streets of Jerusalem and eventually winding up at the “place of the skull”—Golgotha. Looking at it today, however, the route looks more like the Way of the Moneychangers. Instead of the jeering and weeping crowds that Jesus would’ve seen on either side of the Way, we saw lots and lots of vendors hawking their wares—everything from Chicago Cubs T-shirts to all kinds of artwork, including the sketch of four rabbi’s crossing a street like the Beatles on Abbey Road. It’s as if all of the moneychangers that Jesus drove out the Temple decided to set up shop on...

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Twenty Things I’m Thankful For

Posted by on Jul 20, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 0 comments

Mama, what are twenty things you’re thankful for?” My seven-year-old snuggled up next to me and waited expectantly for my response. I listed twenty things, then watched as she used her little fingers to count off her own list of twenty blessings. I’m glad she helped me give thanks. Because it’s easy to forget. To lose sight of God’s goodness as bad news fills our newsfeeds and lands in our inboxes. Yet even now – especially now – our hearts need to be reminded that God is still good. He’s filled our lives with tokens of His grace. He’s still in control and is actively bringing good out of evil – on a worldwide scale, as well as a personal one. Nothing can restrict the peace He offers us, for He’s present in every storm. Recently, after spending the...

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Let’s Do It Together

Posted by on Jul 1, 2020 in A HAPPY HOME, Blog, From the Heart | 2 comments

“I get to see a real person?” I’d just gotten off the phone with my friend and the kids’ beloved babysitter. She’d called to say she was on her way over to pick something up. Our seven-year-old daughter heard my side of the conversation and couldn’t contain her excitement over seeing an actual person somewhere other than a computer screen. When our friend arrived, the kids rushed onto the front porch to say hello. Though we maintained a six-foot distance and chatted in the front yard, it felt good to enjoy a face-to-face conversation. Months of social distancing have taken their toll. But they’ve also taught us the value of human connection. Of sharing life with the people who live in our spaces. It’s easy to take for granted those we love the most. Even in our families, we...

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