Beauty for Ashes

By: Holly Berg Three years ago we bought our son an adorable little t-shirt:  “Big Brother Team Captain”, it said. He wore it to Grandma and Grandpa’s house that evening – he was so excited to share the big secret he had been keeping. My husband’s parents were ecstatic – they had been waiting for a second grandchild since…

The Thanksgiving Phone Call that Changed our Lives

Author: Keri Nikkel It was Thanksgiving Day. My husband Matt and I were at my in-laws, busying ourselves with laughter, food prep, and good conversation. Finally, the time came to eat. All the smells that had been tempting us for hours were about to be enjoyed. The food was set out buffet style in the…

Defeating Debt

Author: Krissa Dorfner I sat in my room and cried. I sank into the hideous floral printed couch processing what my boyfriend had just shared with me. He had made poor financial decisions while working through college and the debt had accumulated. Was I sure I  wanted to tie my life to his when it…

Faith and Hockey Sticks

Author: Holly Berg Two years ago my husband and I signed our son up for skating lessons.  He’s been dreaming about playing hockey since he was old enough to walk. He was born in Oil Country, he bleeds copper and blue – heck, he even eats dinner sitting below a framed photo of his dad with Ryan…

When Kindness Teaches

Author: The Transformed Teacher As a teacher, June always brings mixed emotions. Sadness creeps in as students start to hug me tight and express words of sorrow over leaving me as the end of the school year arrives. A great joy overtakes me as I ponder and reflect on all the ways students grew, especially…

Hope on Distant Shores

Author: Rachel Olson Just over a year ago, a lifelong dream came true. I was accepted to join Mercy Ships, an organization that brings free surgical care to some of the poorest countries of Africa. I quit my job, packed my bags, and moved to Madagascar, where I have spent the past eight and a…

Hope After the Psych Ward

Author: Sarah L. Sanderson A few hours after my discharge from the psychiatric ward of our local hospital, I walked over to my daughter’s elementary school to pick her up from first grade. It was the end of October, and the trees bore fewer leaves than when I’d last seen them, four days before. As…

When the To-Do List is Empty

Waiting. It just DOES NOT have the same connotation as the word “anticipation.” With the latter, it seems like a positive thing, but waiting? It just drags on and on. I hate it. I hate waiting. I have yet to hear someone say, “Oh, how I love waiting!”, so I am confident I’m not alone….

Hope at the Strip Club

Author: Amy Wallace I was asked to write this months ago but couldn’t figure out what to share, or even where to start. Hope in strip clubs? Come on, this is the enemies play ground. For the last 5 years, I have been involved with the ministry POLE Gems.  We venture into strip clubs and…