Saturday, September 23, 2023



For several weeks, I drank a high protein drink to gain weight but had no results, and I didn’t feel well after I drank it. I tried drinking it more slowly; that helped. But one day I drank it with my lunch and felt so bad that I could scarcely eat dinner that evening. I went to bed at 8 p.m.

Just then my friend Ruth called, and I told her how I felt. She researched the protein drink and found it was a suggested drink for those hoping to LOSE weight. No wonder I had failed to get the desired results. Perhaps feeling unwell was God’s way of telling me this wasn’t working for me.

Since my husband is encouraged to consume more protein because of a health condition, I assumed it would be good for me as well. But no. I’ve got to find another way to put on the pounds. You may wish you had my problem.

I tell you this to say that I so much appreciated the kindness of my friend in researching my protein drink. I had not asked her nor expected her to do that. But she is a model of kindness and regularly reaches out to those who struggle. If someone needs encouragement, she invites them to dinner or takes a meal to them. She is a friend who doesn’t just hear what you say with her ears but she listens with her heart. Then she acts.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit: “Love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV 1984, emphasis mine).

I am blessed to have several friends like Ruth. They fit the description of the Proverbs 31 woman: “She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26 NIV).

Scripture suggests that kind people hold no grudges: “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NIV).

Life offers hard challenges. Divorce is one that breaks relationships and often makes family gatherings uncomfortable. But I have divorced friends who get together at their children’s events without showing animosity toward each other. In fact, they chat amicably with each other. That blesses their families and friends.

Luke reminds us that God is kind even to the wicked:

But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.” Luke 6:35

So we should be kind even to those who offend us. I’ve found that always—always—when I do a kindness for someone who has hurt me, I am the one who ends up blessed.

And Paul reminds us “love is kind” (1 Corinthians 13:4). There are five apartments, including ours, on the fourth floor of our building, and deliveries for us are placed by our first-floor mailboxes. Yet I often find a package or a newspaper right outside my apartment door. I have no idea which of my neighbors delivered it to me, but I appreciate their kindness. And I return the favor when I find packages for them downstairs.

It doesn’t cost much to send a card with a few words of encouragement. That’s being kind.

It doesn’t cost anything to speak words of encouragement to someone. That’s being kind.

Maybe a store clerk is tired and needs a friendly greeting. Or someone waiting in  line is in a hurry and you can let them go ahead of you. That’s being kind.

We’re kind if we surprise someone with a gift. Or remember a special date, maybe a date someone passed, and express sympathy.

As we pick the fruit of the Spirit, we gather all varieties. And kindness is one to share with others that not only tastes sweet but nourishes the soul of the giver and the receiver.

Thursday, August 10, 2023

BOOK REVIEW: Letter to the American Church


When culture conflicts with scripture, speak out. Author Eric Metaxas maintains what’s happening in American is similar to what happened in Germany during the 1930s when the church was silent in the face of Hitler’s atrocities.

In the book’s introduction, Metaxas writes: “Critical Race Theory—which is atheistic and Marxist—and radical transgender and pro-abortion ideologies are all inescapably anti-God and anti-human.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor, challenged the church to stand up against forces that oppose God and family. So he and others drew up the “Barman Declaration,” stating that the German state must not govern the Church. But only a sixth of the pastors signed it. Bonhoeffer paid for his opposition with his life. But his insight lives on, as pointed out by Metaxas throughout the book.

Since Romans 13 states believers are to bow to government, many Germans felt they could not disagree with their Fuhrer. I especially appreciated Metaxas’ comments on the parable of the talents. He likens those who fail to speak out because they might be wrong to those who buried their talent in the sand—just to be “safe.”

Metaxas is a cultural commentator whose work has appeared in the New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. He has written a biography on Bonhoeffer. Endorsements from people such as Anne Graham Lotz and Erwin Lutzer speak to the respectability of Metaxas’ message.

Published in 2022 by Salem Books, the book is easy, understandable reading with short chapters. Thought-provoking and inspirational.



Thursday, June 8, 2023

Book Review: STAY SALT


As a young Christian, Pippert’s book OUT OF THE SALTSHAKER challenged me to reach my generation for Christ. STAY SALT: THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, OUR MESSAGE MUST NOT updates that book for a new generation facing a culture much less Christianity-friendly than my generation had been.

Pippert helps us recognize our excuses for sharing our faith and challenges us to rely on God rather than our own competence. She offers an overview of creation and the fall to help us answer people’s questions about why things are as they are in today’s world. I especially appreciated learning the questions she asks to help people question their own skepticism about faith.

Along the way, Pippert offers books to provide further insight. I loved the stories of her personal experiences of casually engaging people in conversations about faith. The need to reach others is urgent. She quoted Nigerian pastors telling her: “We beg you, do not compromise your faith, when we in Africa are dying for ours.”

In this book Pippert shares how we can present the good news of Jesus through what she’s gained through two decades of church ministry across American, an international ministry around the world and seven years of ministry in Europe.

The book ends with guidelines for leaders interested in training Christians to share their faith. I recommend it for all Christians who want to invite people into God’s fold—and isn’t that all of us?

Friday, May 26, 2023

Book Review: From Ignorance to Bliss


From Ignorance to Bliss: God’s Heart Revealed through Down Syndrome by Annie Yorty

This is a sobering yet delightful glimpse into the feelings of a mother raising a child born with Down Syndrome. The book concludes with a chapter written by Alyssa herself, now in her thirties but still a child at heart.

Annie Yorty doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges she’s faced. But she also shares the joy that comes from helping Alyssa develop and grow to her full potential. She has learned to read and write and loves to share her love of Jesus with others. Alyssa even accompanied her mother and participated in ministering on a mission trip to Siberia.

I enjoyed the format of the book, which is written as a series of short essays with titles such as “Collision Course,” “Dream Big,” “Un-Expectations” and “Believing is Seeing.” Endorsers include author Josh D. McDowell and director of digital content at, Dr. Craig von Buseck.

The book opened my eyes to blessings that can be found in life’s toughest challenges. Annie Yorty is transparent in sharing the heart of a mother accepting a child different from the one she expected. Her faith has supported her and enabled her to move from ignorance of the Down Syndrome condition to the bliss of seeing God’s hand in life’s challenges. 

Annie’s experiences offer insight to anyone dealing with challenges. A good read that I highly recommend.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Book Review: Once Upon a Wardrobe



          I had a hard time putting this book down. I loved Patti Callahan’s storytelling writing style. She weaves a story about British writer and scholar C. S. Lewis within a story about a young woman called Meg and her little brother George. The boy, an invalid, read Lewis’ book titled THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, and begged Meg, a student at Oxford where Lewis taught, to find out where Narnia came from.

          A fan of C. S. Lewis’s writings, I found Callahan’s imagination and skill with writing to be fascinating. Although it’s a novel, this book offers a glimpse into the British lifestyle of an earlier day and portrays Lewis as a warm personable tutor and friend.

          I’m looking forward to reading another of Callahan’s books about a divorced woman who came to know Lewis through letter writing and eventually married him: BECOMING MRS. LEWIS. Callahan’s writing style is unique and entertaining and pulls you right along with the story.