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Finding God in the Story of Your Life

Keri’s Blog

Spiritual encouragement for those seeking a deeper experience of God, from a writer passionate about making faith real.

Disappointment with God: A Lenten Lament

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in character, faith, Keri's Soul, spiritual formation | 10 comments

Disappointment with God: A Lenten Lament

Tweet I didn’t expect to usher in Lent feeling angry at God, but that’s how it went down. On Shrove Tuesday, my fervent prayers for a dear friend that I love and walk beside went unanswered. The very thing I’d asked God to prevent, happened. I’d asked God to intervene, but God, it seems, has not. I mourned with my friend, held her as we both cried. I can’t share details, they’re confidential and too complex, but I felt forsaken: as the Psalmist did, as Jesus did. Where are you? I lament, with tears. Why have you forsaken this family?...

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Would you rather be free?

Posted by on Feb 2, 2016 in blog, pace of life, Rest, sabbath, spiritual formation, women | 5 comments

Would you rather be free?

Tweet Given the choice, would you rather be free, or a slave? That might feel like a goofy question, right? But it is so easy for us to choose slavery, unwittingly. We’re captive to the busyness and frantic pace that marks our days. We’re slaves to our schedule. God invites us to remember that we have a choice, and we can choose freedom: 12 “Observe the Sabbath day by keeping it holy, as the Lord your God has commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God....

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Be encouraged

Posted by on Jan 13, 2016 in character, faith, spiritual formation | 2 comments

Be encouraged

Tweet Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing–The Apostle Paul, in his letter to believers. (1 Thessalonians 5:11) My mother and I, in a flash of ambition, sort through the boxes in a closet, deciding what to keep, what to pitch, what to donate. It’s not exactly “the life-changing magic of tidying up” because we keep more than we toss. We can’t part with a box of children’s books and another of old baby clothes (my children are now in college). We laugh at old photos and remember how much I...

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Do not be afraid…

Posted by on Dec 18, 2015 in blog, faith, holidays, social justice, theology | 4 comments

Do not be afraid…

Tweet “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” —Frederick Buechner, Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABC’s of Faith   In the Bible, the command repeated most frequently is “Fear not.” Or as many translations phrase it, “don’t be afraid.” Never in my life have I seen so many Christians disobeying this command so flagrantly. The level of fear in our country (especially, ironically, among Christians) is beyond comprehension. The Bible says that love casts out fear. How can...

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Fragile foster kids find a home

Posted by on Dec 1, 2015 in faith, hospitality, social justice, spiritual formation, women | 0 comments

Fragile foster kids find a home

Tweet Where do the kids who no one wants go? How do foster kids who are “difficult to place” because of their medical challenges find a home? Sometimes, the story of a family captures your imagination and your heart. A fellow writer and speaker, Shellie Nichol, recently wrote a story about a child she’s welcoming to her home (the story is below). It touched my heart and soul. The Bible is very clear: God’s people are to take care of widows, orphans, the poor, the hurting. Shellie’s life is very clear: she’s...

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Wise as serpents, harmless as doves?

Posted by on Nov 20, 2015 in bible literacy, social justice, theology | 7 comments

Tweet Among the panicked Scripture quotes I’m seeing this week in response to the escalating refugee crisis, I’m noticing a lot of this one lately: “be wise as serpents, gentle as doves.” They apply this by saying we should be very cautious (read: afraid). We should turn away refugees who are fleeing terrorists who want to kill them, because “Jesus told us to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” That’s in the Bible, I’ll give you that. Although I could not find a translation that said “gentle as doves.” More often, the passage is...

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I was a stranger and you invited me in…

Posted by on Nov 17, 2015 in holidays, hospitality, social justice, spiritual formation, Uncategorized | 4 comments

I was a stranger and you invited me in…

Tweet One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories in recent years was the year we welcomed a family of Muslim refugees to gather at our table with us. Our church had put out a call to include refugee families, newly settled in the Chicago area, in our holiday meals. We coordinated with Exodus World Services, a non-profit that helps refugees. As we considered the words of Jesus to all who claim to follow him, “I was a stranger and you invited me in,” and also our family’s call to hospitality, it seemed this was what God was...

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The grace of Sabbath

Posted by on Nov 13, 2015 in A Powerful Story, pace of life, sabbath, simplicity, spiritual formation | 1 comment

The grace of Sabbath

Tweet Sabbath keeping has been one of the most transformative spiritual practices in my life. My children, now young adults, say that our Sabbath rhythm is something they’re grateful for, a check mark on the plus side of the evaluation they give their growing up. Sabbath is a grace we live in, a sanctuary of time, an opportunity to experience the unconditional love of God not as an idea but a reality. Receiving the grace of Sabbath enables us to extend that grace to others. So I’m really excited about this weekend, because I’ll have some...

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Finding the path

Posted by on Aug 22, 2015 in Keri's Soul, parenting | 7 comments

Finding the path

Tweet We run downhill on a single track through a lush Midwestern woods, sunlight and green rushing past. Our feet staccato over roots and stones, undergrowth brushing our legs as we fly. I let out a whoop, and my daughter answers with another, on my heels in the final mile of our five-mile trail run. The moment captures my summer—idyllic, free, and in the company of my children. Their presence at home these three months has been sheer gift, which I open each day with a bit of wonder. It’s been a summer of sacramental ordinary, of weekends at...

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What the Bible really says about women: Can women preach?

Posted by on Jul 14, 2015 in bible literacy, speaking, Uncategorized, women, women in the church | 10 comments

What the Bible really says about women: Can women preach?

Tweet First in an occasional series. “And afterward,     I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy,     your old men will dream dreams,     your young men will see visions. 29 Even on my servants, both men and women,     I will pour out my Spirit in those days. Joel 2:28-29 God’s vision for the church, proclaimed centuries before Pentecost, was that this body would exhibit radical equality. Discrimination on the basis of gender, age, or social status would be completely dismantled. Even young girls would...

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