vision gives hope

Dominique was just ten when some neighborhood gang members befriended him. “I was kind of a mascot,” as he puts it. But gang mascots eventually become gang members, and he was headed for trouble. One day, Dominique discovered an online chess game. He got the hang of it and became good—really good.  He didn’t like to lose, and pretty soon he had taught himself a variety of creative chess moves.

Before too long,  Dominique was “busy” when gang members called. Busy with chess. Busy with starting a chess club in his school. Then busy as chess club president. Then he added wrestling to the mix. Dominique was way too busy finding his purpose to run with gangs.

By the time he was in high school, Dominique had become the top scholastic chess player in the state of North Carolina. He even won a national tournament,  and is now in striking distance of becoming a Grand Master—an international distinction.  Dominique possesses a unique and God-given genius when it comes to chess.  Continue reading

my heroes of hope

Have you ever faced a trial so painful you couldn’t endure the weight of it? The enemy taunts you with lies whispered in the dark:  God is not even listening to your prayers.  Why else would He seem so silent?  When all seems hopeless, I find encouragement from believers who have passed through the furnace and come forth with faith shining.  Their stories inspire me to hold onto my hope. I want to share one such story with you.

I met Ange during one of my first missions trips to Rwanda and Burundi. Most everyone I encountered was a genocide survivor with a hard story to tell. But it was Ange’s journey of agony-turned-into-hope that gripped my soul. Continue reading

when is suffering sifting?

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  Luke 22:31-32 (ESV)

Let’s face it.   Fiery trials are not fun.  And yet, it seems like the more serious I get about following Christ, the tougher the resistance from the enemy.  Can you relate?  I’ve heard it said, “New level, new devils.”  Jesus warned Peter that Satan had demanded to “sift you like wheat.”  The “you” in this verse is plural.  It means “all of you.”  Or if you’re from the deep South like I am,  “Satan has asked to sift y’all like wheat…” Continue reading


Remember this: whoever turns a sinner back from the wrong way will save that sinner’s soul from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins (James 5:20 GNT).

Remember! Don’t be late for carpool. Get your coat. Drink lots of water. Always be polite to grown ups. Stick up for the little guy.  Don’t forget to fill up the car with gas. Remember to drive slowly in the school zone.   And do not text and drive.  Ever!  Continue reading

all i want is what i want…

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4).

“But Mommy, all I want is what I want when I want it,”  howled my friend’s three-year-old daughter in the middle of a tantrum.  Like little Molly,  all I want is “what I want when I want it.”  Who doesn’t?  But life doesn’t always work that way, does it?  Truth is, I’ve had to wait for my most fervent prayers to be answered, sometimes for a very long time.

I’m not a patient person by nature.  But I’ve discovered that not getting what I want when I want it is one way God gets me ready for whatever it is I most desire.  Waiting gives my character a chance to mature  as God prepares me for promotion.  When our character doesn’t grow as fast as our calling, look out!  Yet I’m tempted  to walk away from my dream altogether than wait for it.  Why?  Because waiting is painful.  Grinding. Frustrating. Boring. Out of my control.  In short, waiting is hard work. 

Continue reading