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Foundations' Blog

Praise in Public, Confront in Private

I first heard the phrase, "Praise in public, confront in private," years ago. I was with a group of leaders from my church, and we were at a conference in Rochester, NY. The speaker talked about how this was one of the policies that they had in their church.

I first heard the phrase, "Praise in public, confront in private," years ago...

Conflict is one of the things which tears churches apart. It is what often ends many relationships between groups or individuals. Let's be honest – conflict is everywhere. Especially as Americans, we like to debate and disagree on everything. Maybe it's our competitive nature, but often we talk about things that divide us more than things that unite us. It's not whether or not we will have conflict, but how we will handle it that is important to understand. In some ways, conflict can be good. Conflict comes from being conflicted. Our discussion being conflicted is the opposite of complacency. Most likely, they are complacent if a marriage,...

Scripture's Response to Suffering

Suffering is an unavoidable part of life. Everyone experiences it at some point—some more than others—and it can be challenging to make sense of it all. But what does the Bible say about suffering? How does it address our questions and offer comfort in times of need? Let’s explore how scripture speaks to our suffering and provides insight into why we experience hardship.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, King Solomon reflects on the cyclical nature of life and states that “there is a time for everything – a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot...”

The Bible acknowledges that suffering exists and affirms that it is a natural byproduct of living in a fallen world. In Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, King Solomon reflects on the cyclical nature of life and states that “there is a time for everything – a time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot...” The passage also mentions “a...

Where's Your Identity?

We All Identify in Some Way(s)

Identity is a powerful thing. It is how we define ourselves, and it clarifies our purpose. It can also be challenging to nail down. Think about it. We all have thousands of identities at any given moment. Sometimes that makes it difficult to answer basic, vital questions like, 'Who am I?'
We're going to walk through a simple visualization technique that hopefully makes it easier to sort all of that out. Let's start by imagining a bunch of steps (as in the image above). Think of each step as just one facet of your identity. For example: student, brother, mechanic, mother, stamp collector, priest, knitting enthusiast, and so on. Write a few down, and see how many you can come up with in your own life. For our purposes, let's put the most important ones lower down on the diagram – closest to our foundation.


At any time, we might live out one facet of our identity more prominently than others. For the woman in the example above, today she's...

Are You Fearful and Alone?

We attend church because our faith in Christ means a lot to us. It is the foundation of who we are. When we struggle with life issues, we come to church with those burdens. We are encouraged through the service. Our spirits are lifted up through singing, reminding us how great God is and how much He loves us. We are not only inspired by the preaching of how God can work in our lives but are also given support through our local faith community–verbal exchanges, smiles, and those who would even pray for us.

We are not only inspired by the preaching of how God can work in our lives but are also given support through our local faith community...

But what would happen if you couldn't have that encouragement? You may be going through this circumstance right now. It's a double blow when we fear potential physical illness and miss out on gathering with God's people. What if you knew you weren't alone? This situation is common to us today, with the presence of covid and other...

Burnout: The Post-Pandemic Pandemic

We are almost three years post-pandemic and still feeling the effects. For numerous families, COVID has played a harmful role in bringing anxiety, depression, health issues, and even death. For other families, it did very little but add a wet blanket to an otherwise normal life. Yet the societal effects of lockdowns and changes in the workplace, schools, and culture have placed a weight on lives that are difficult to measure except by the simple term, ‘capacity.’ We, as a society, are nearing, have reached, or have exceeded our emotional and sometimes physical capacity…and it’s showing.

Numerous mental health studies have concluded that anxiety and depression have risen by around 25%, and people have reported that their mental health has decreased since the COVID pandemic. Stress, anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and loneliness have increased. Motivation and morale in the workplace have declined while many are not showing up to work, leaving others to...

Don't Skip the Grieving Process

As a pastor, one of the things that I deal with is death. I have officiated in the burial of many people: young and old, rich and poor, those who claim Christ, and those who do not. For Christians, there is a different perspective on death than unbelievers. When we lose a Christian, we grieve differently. We shed tears in a different way.

Because we know where they are and Who they are with, we can be comforted.

We can grieve differently because we know there is a place with no more suffering, tears, or pain (Revelation 21:1-4). Heaven, like the garden of Eden was intended to be, is a perfect place.
Better yet than where they are is Who they are with. That Who is Jesus. They will be in His perfect presence without the encumbrance of the world, sin, or anything else that keeps us from seeing Jesus clearly (Revelation 22:1-5). Nothing can be more comforting than that.

Because we know where they are and Who they are with, we can be comforted. Since their pain is over, and not just...

When We Say "I Didn't Mean It"

Have you been in an argument with someone and they said something hurtful? And when you try to reconcile, they said they were sorry and “didn’t mean it”? Or perhaps you said these words to them. If someone tells you, “I didn’t mean it,” do you believe them? Do they think they believed you? While words can never be taken back, the phrase “I didn’t mean it” is often a veiled attempt to take back hurtful words. Other times “I didn’t mean it” can take on a different meaning.

“For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Matt 12:34

Scripture tells us, “for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” So if this is true, and we know it is, what is really going on inside the heart of those who say, “I didn’t mean it”? Let me suggest a few possibilities:

I didn’t mean it in the way you perceived it.

In other words, while it could have been stated...

Comfort and Joy Through Grief

About 40 years ago, a year (before I met my husband Barry), I was in West Africa to help two missionaries with the work among the illiterate women of the Bariba tribe. We lived in a rural area without electricity. Many of the young people were sent to school and were, therefore, able to read.

One of the missionaries had asked the young people to read the Christmas story and then play it out in church for the Christmas celebration. The church was not more than a tin roof, wooden benches, and a big church bell in a remote and desert-like place.

Initially, the tribe was animistic, which means they believed God had left the earth into the hands of spirits that had power over humans. These spirits were to be kept at peace. It was seen that the evil spirits caused sickness, death, and other disasters.

Sacrifices were made by slaughtering chickens and putting them on sticks with their blood behind their huts. This ritual was to keep evil spirits from their family. Poverty and the death of...

Walking Through Grief


Grief is a natural reaction to a significant loss; it's both an emotional and often physical response to losing someone or something that has meaning in one's life. Grief is a process and sometimes a lifelong journey, and at times can be an unpredictable one. Unfortunately, grief is the result of living in a fallen world that has yet to be fully redeemed. God never intended for us to experience grief. When sin entered the world in Genesis 3, grief entered along with it. 

Although many of us may naturally try to avoid it, we will all likely face grief at some point. Maybe it's the loss of a loved one, a job, a house, or a marriage--to name a few. Unfortunately, grief is not uncommon throughout the history of humanity; it is all over the pages of scripture. For example, in the Old Testament, we see the Israelites mourning the loss of Moses (Deut. 34:8). Additionally, we see David, a man after God's own heart grieving through his psalms. In...

Three Tools for Better Communication with Your Spouse

Marriage counseling is an opportunity for couples to gain the skills and understanding necessary to strengthen their bond. While communication may seem straightforward, it can be challenging for some partners. Many come into therapy feeling unheard or misunderstood by one another. If there are gaps in your conversations that you feel prevent a deeper connection with your partner, marriage counseling might help bridge them! It could provide helpful guidance from which you benefit as individuals and as a couple.

I want to summarize three common problems and solutions to communicate better with your spouse. To be current with the slang of my teen sons, these communication tips are LIT.


Someone once said God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we speak. Listening is one of the most essential skills of communication, but a skill we rarely do well. When someone else speaks, and you are listening, what are you listening to/for? Some listen for...


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