When a Friend is Hurting, Offer Listening Not Advice


So many times, when someone comes to us and tells us about their pain, we aren’t sure how to respond. So we say the first thing that comes to mind, which often sounds like advice. For example, we might say, “What you need is some time away” or, “Have you considered reading the book______? It […]

What to Say When You Are Uncomfortable Praying Aloud


Are you comfortable praying aloud in public? If you are, good for you! I have a confession: praying aloud is uncomfortable for me. I just don’t know what to say. Yet I believe in the power of prayer, and we are told to “Pray for the sick.” (James 5:14.) So when I pray for someone […]

How to Pray When You Can’t Find the Words


How can you pray when you can’t find the words? Sometimes the news is so awful, that words escape us. Or the situation is so shocking that we are momentarily stunned into silence. But we want to help our suffering loved one or friend. Prayer connects us with God and empowers us to help others. […]

Say “I Do!” Often


The winter in Michigan this year has been harsh, with lots of snow and ice. On a particularly wintery day, my granddaughter Ashlee posted a photo on Facebook of her husband Nick clearing snow. Ashlee wrote, “That’s my man out there. He is clearing our driveway and sidewalks, and did our neighbor’s without hesitation.” She […]

Grief is Like a Wave in the Ocean


Years ago, my husband Larry and I set off on a grand adventure: we spent 14 months on a 32-foot sailboat, traveling the open ocean. (With our two small children aboard, I might add!) It certainly was an exciting time. When I started my ministry, I realized that life on the water helped me understand […]

4 Things Your Pastor Wants You to Know


Craig and Jan Hoffman are retired pastors. Jan says, “Craig and I were so blessed to serve a great congregation for twenty-two years. We were the right people at the right time! I wish all ministers and congregations could know that kind of ministry.” Jan reminds us that it can be easy to forget that […]

How to Energize Our Pastors


How can we care for and energize our pastors? Here are three creative ideas, shared by two experienced pastors. Consider donating to my “book allowance.” I’d like to be able to order that book you ask about, or that I see someone else reading. It’ll be on my office shelf, I may use it for […]

Is Your Pastor Running on Empty?

A friend of mine recommended Wayne Cordeiro’s book Leading on Empty, which talks about the important topic of pastor burnout. The title really grabbed me. I wonder: is a pastor you know running on empty . . . or maybe even walking (or crawling!) on empty? My friends Jan and Craig Hoffman are retired pastors. […]

Caregiving Basic: Respect the Grief Journey


Editor’s Note: In any caregiving situation, we remind our readers to remember the Caregiving Basics: Pray, Listen, Respect the Grief Journey and Preserve the Dignity of the Person. This post is an overview of Respect the Grief Journey. Grief is a normal and natural experience by which a person makes a healthy adjustment to any significant […]

The Gift of Music


By Christine MacLean A note from Karen Mulder: Christine shared this story with me during one of my speaking engagements at my home church, Hope Church in Holland, Michigan. It’s a lovely story about how one man’s love of music united a group of people to engage in a generous act of caregiving. My dad […]

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Do you need some specific caregiving wisdom or want to share a personal story of kind care? Let Karen Mulder help. Get a personal response from her, right here. Ask Karen
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