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The day I let God

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

My father had a serious accident that nearly took his life this year. He spent a month in intensive, acute and skilled nursing care located four hours from my home. His hardship taught me how to pray with more audacity than I have ever dared. I begged for unity in our family in making...

In the world––not of it

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

The gospels are full of interesting clues about how Christ handled himself while he lived on earth. One thing is apparent about his way of life: whenever he was tired, overwhelmed or grieved, he sought solitude. When Jesus heard that John the Baptist had been beheaded, he withdrew to a private...

The Opposite of Hate

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

Answering God’s call to peace At the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the 1960 presidential debates play in a continuous loop. In one of the debates, the moderator asks the presidential candidates to explain why Americans should cast a vote in their favor. Modern viewers...

How to close the gap on what separates you from God

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

Did you ever know someone who made you feel like a rock star every time you saw them? Until his death last spring, our family friend Bob Hittner was that for me.Bob always seemed as though he might die from the sheer joy of having your company once again. If you judged by his delight, you could...

When There Are No Words

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

This is a sad story. I’m only sharing it because I hope it contains wisdom about how to deal with life and death. Not my wisdom, but the wisdom of a mother who lost her 15-year-old daughter. I met this grieving mom for the first time on a recent vacation. Kara described her daughter so...

Becoming a New Man or Woman

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

  I was worshipping with family friends one Sunday when the youngest of their five children asked to be baptized. Afterwards, his sister (the only girl in the family) hugged him and said, “Oh, boy, am I ever looking forward to that new man you’re going to be.” I laughed...

Born good––or not.

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

Last week I met a woman who knows a friend of mine. Once we made this discovery, we spent a long while comparing notes about our mutual friend’s goodness. Charles moved away from Indianapolis a few years ago, but recounting his virtues together made him so vivid that it felt as if...

The Social Side of Church

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

  “The church is not a social club.” Through the years, this maxim has made its way into church teaching as if it originated with scripture. It’s a well-intended phrase, meant to remind Christians that our gatherings aren’t about us or even about solving the...

An osprey or a stranded sailboat: which are you?

Posted by Crystal Hammon on

When I was in my early 20s, I almost moved to Florida. At the last minute, I changed my mind, repelled by an abundance of older residents whose lives did not show any evidence of transformation or improvement. Despite their maturity, so many seemed short on character and wisdom.  It was...