3) Failing the Test

After a two-year stint with the Federal Government in Washington, D.C., I transferred to that agency’s Phoenix office. I found a small apartment and tried desperately to bloom in the desert. Blooming is difficult when living alone. I missed the fellowship of the on-fire youth group of small-town Nebraska, and…

4) Rescue

I was barely holding on to my government job. Of course, pain and depression were hindrances, but I was also discouraged by the lack of advancement opportunity. After all, it was unlikely that a knight in shining armor would sweep this hurting princess off her feet in her old age.…

5) Strings

It wasn’t long after the Lord used Ellen to draw me back into relationship with Him (see “Rescue”) that I realized I wasn’t well. Sound teaching from the pulpit revealed to me that I had a heart condition. My focus on self and my view of God as a cosmic…

6) Discovering Grace

In an in-depth study of Philippians, I was totally drawn to the apostle named Paul. I identified with him. While still named Saul, he had an undeniable encounter with Jesus Christ and was transformed dramatically, not so unlike my teen-years experience. In cross-referencing Scripture, I learned that Paul discusses his…

7) Prison

The study of Paul’s ministry is a study of heavenly focus. Paul’s eternal focus and his joy in serving the promised Messiah enabled him to sing in prison. Prisons in Paul’s day were dark, cold, wet, and rodent-infested. Paul and Silas had been imprisoned without cause and, as Roman citizens,…

8) Grace Busters

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." (II Corinthians 6:1) My efforts to further unravel the mystery of grace led me to believe that God is continually lavishing grace on His…

10) Hymns from The Zone

Interestingly, many of history’s best hymnists were walking through the midst of deep, deep trial. You get the opposite impression from most of their songs, such as “Like a River Glorious, “To God Be the Glory, “It is Well with My Soul,” or “Just as I Am.” That’s because these…

11) Neola Faith

Long before the concept of The Zone had entered my psyche, my life was being impacted by my Aunt Neola. Aunt Neola, along with her husband George, raised their eight children on a small farm just outside the Nebraska town where I grew up. The 10 of them lived in…

12) Always Learning

Having married in my thirties, I had long accepted that my nieces and nephews might be my only children. I adored them all. Jenny was a shining star, a beautiful girl who loved the Lord. She was a Junior Olympic gymnast, a cheerleader at her Christian high school, an accomplished…