Soft Targets

Soft Targets

    There was a time in this country, not so long ago, when airport security was a breeze, when bullies and mystery meat were school’s scariest possibilities, when no one thought twice about a misplaced backpack at a public event. For better or worse, those days are behind us. We live in a world awash in images of 9/11, Newtown, the Boston Marathon… We are awake to the reality that we have enemies, and those enemies want our destruction. They are merciless. Bloodshed and terror are their goal. Ignoring them, pretending they don’t exist won’t make them go away. They target our soft spots. Our fragile areas. Like a sweet faced eight-year-old boy waiting at the finish line to celebrate with his father. Why does terror so often target children? I believe it is for...

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A Royal Mess

A Royal Mess

    We rolled in, dusty, hot, and weary, to speak at yet another church. I was twelve, and all I wanted to do was get on the plane and fly home to the Philippines, but we still had a month to go. Another long hallway decorated with Sunday school posters and a corkboard with our prayer card front and center… Another crowd of earnest, smiling, unfamiliar faces, eager to hear about the Lord’s work in other lands… By the time we reached the sanctuary, my attitude was bubbling with all the worst adolescence has to offer. The room was packed full – nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. Arms crossed, I pressed myself against the nearest wall and willed myself to disappear like a chameleon. But one tiny, wrinkled, gray-crowned saint with poor eyesight and a huge grin made a...

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Forgiveness Changes Everything

Forgiveness Changes Everything

    Natalia* was stunning in a flowing fuchsia gown, her silky blond hair curling over her shoulders. I had just shared my story at The Closet Ministry’s “Beautiful You”, an event where girls receive free prom dresses and makeovers. Natalia had won some music of mine and wanted me to sign the CD. While I stood there, pen in hand, the words began to pour out from the deep places inside her heart. “Friends” have spoken cruel words that cut deep, leaving rivers of lies that shape the landscape of this young girl’s whole life. So much pain, already. As hard as Natalia’s story is, it is not unique or even uncommon. I hear it echoed from the lips of broken-hearted teens, from grown women who have never forgotten and never quite healed. Sometimes the cruelty is much...

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