About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the school, church or library, she writes about life, both now and two-thousand years ago.

When We Feel Overwhelmed

When We Feel Overwhelmed

Sometimes we find ourselves facing challenges that seem impossibly large. When I entered the empty nest phase of life, I asked God to show me where he wanted me to give my time now that I was no longer volunteering at school. One of the opportunities that soon came knocking was a plea for help […]

Seeking Rest in a Busy Season

Seeking Rest in a Busy Season

My life has been in one of those everything-happening-at-once phases. Family events, including a graduation and an out-of-state wedding, plus a fundraiser for the local library and other obligations. Individually, each event is a good thing, something to look forward to. But when so many are squashed into a few short weeks, it gets to […]

Embracing Quiet

Embracing Quiet

Sometimes our worship band pauses between songs to spend a few moments in silent praise. Our worship leader told me that during those moments part of the congregation is clearly engaged, but another segment shuffles nervously or shows signs of impatience. Why do so many find a few moments of silence awkward? Because it is so […]

The Challenge to Speak Up

The Challenge to Speak Up

A few weeks ago we received a brief handwritten note from a stranger. The writer explained that she had been in a minor accident with my son. (His fault.) She was not writing to complain, however, but to compliment us on his behavior during the incident. My first reaction after reading the note was the […]

Where is Your Hope?

Where is Your Hope?

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, concerning those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest, who have no hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13 I’ve been thinking about that last phrase lately—about “the rest, who have no hope.” We humans need hope. Our world is full of pain, suffering, […]

Taking Risks by Trusting Others

Taking Risks by Trusting Others

When it comes to a big production, how much are we willing to risk? We started planning for our Christmas Ever service way back in July. By September we had a first draft of the script. An entire team of writers, actors, musicians and technical people was involved in fine-tuning the ideas, envisioning the staging, […]

Where is Mary?

Where is Mary?

Nativity sets come in all shapes, sizes and colors.  Mine is made of hand-carved olive wood from Israel. But that’s not what makes it so unusual. Take a closer look. Can you spot what I mean? Right in the middle, where he belongs, is baby Jesus in the manger, surrounded by sheep and cattle, bearded […]

A Lifestyle of Generosity

A Lifestyle of Generosity

Our society lives a lifestyle of accumulation. We can’t wait to buy the next trendy thing, because we hope it will make us happy, or cool, or popular, or successful. We buy things we don’t need. We buy more than we need, so we never risk running out. We keep things we no longer use. […]

Letting Go Requires Trust

Letting Go Requires Trust

It isn’t easy to let go of our children at any age. And yet, that’s exactly what we parents are supposed to do. Our goal, since the day our babies are born, is to raise them in such a way that they will grow up to be independent, capable adults. We know this, but it […]

Heading Into New Territory

Heading Into New Territory

Most of us don’t like uncertainty. Especially when we have to make big decisions. But uncertainty is a fact of life. We cannot move forward on our life journeys without the guts to make decisions in spite of not knowing FOR SURE that we are making the right ones. I have been watching this struggle […]

The Art of Slaying Dragons

The Art of Slaying Dragons

We all face dragons from time to time. Cancer. Injustice at work. Toxic relationships. And sometimes those dragons intimidate us, because they look so ugly, scaly, toothy, and formidable that trusting in God seems foolish. Or hopeless. How do we remind people about the truth of God’s love and power when they are facing dragons? […]

A Day Off

A Day Off

Today, many in the U. S. are enjoying a day off from work. A day to put aside worries and responsibilities. A day to kick back and relax. A day to do the things we want to do instead of the things we have to do. (In theory, anyway. We all know picnics and parties […]

When Pursuing the Best Means Letting Go

When Pursuing the Best Means Letting Go

The other day I was in a meeting with some other leaders from church. We were discussing an outreach event we’ve held for the past three years. The event had gone fairly well, but we were discussing whether it made sense to do it again next year. In the end, we decided not to hold […]

Have You Seen the Kingdom Today?

Have You Seen the Kingdom Today?

God’s kingdom is here on earth and we live it and breathe it. But sometimes we forget to notice it. Sometimes we are so focused on the next task, or the next hurdle that we miss the beauty growing out of the crack by our feet, or the whisper of truth coming from a child’s […]

Wrestling with Smallness

Wrestling with Smallness

In the past week I have come across several articles that say something to the effect of: You don’t have to do big, impressive things in order to be valuable to God’s kingdom. It is a sentiment I heartily agree with, and yet … I struggle with jealousy when a friend writes a post that […]

Lessons from a Stray Cat

Lessons from a Stray Cat

About two months after our elderly cat died, my husband and I were outside enjoying the flower beds when a cat we’d never seen before materialized at the edge of the yard. Naturally, I walked over to say hello. The little gray cat let me approach and seemed eager for my attentions—so eager she followed […]

The Challenges of Being Still

The Challenges of Being Still

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10 For the past few years I have heard friends talk about the One Word concept, but I never took serious thought into trying it out, partly because I have a stubborn streak when […]

Bullied by Fear

Bullied by Fear

The beginning of the year is a time for reflections and goal setting. A time to look back. A time to look ahead. A time to dream of what could be. Except the logical part of my brain reminds me that there is a difference between goals and dreams. Both lead to a desired result, […]