Blog Posts by Noel Piper

The Tradition of the Pastors Conference Speakers Dinner

Noel Piper

The pastors’ conference has become a tradition in the Piper family. Back in the days when the conference was small enough to be held in the Bethlehem church building, the sons who were homeschooled loved to hang out there. It didn’t take them long to figure out who the pastors were that enjoyed talking with kids and playing basketball during break. Oh yes, and there were killer snacks.

The big family event during conference is Tuesday evening when the speakers…

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Talitha Interviews the Rebelution Guys

Noel Piper

When we knew Alex and Brett Harris would be in town for the DG Pastors’ Conference, we wanted to catch them for an interview. Who better to interview two popular young bloggers than another young person? The guys were glad to sit down with Talitha Piper, 12, and answer her questions.

The message of the 19-year-old twins is, “Do hard things.” That’s also the title of their book, available in April.

They are high school grads, homeschooled all…

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So You Want to Be a Writer?

Noel Piper

I got a letter recently from someone who hopes to be a writer. She says:

I get so frustrated with myself because even as I am typing, I think, "What am I doing?  I can't write!" I would like to get published some day, but I don't even know how to start.

No 7-step list will guarantee a writer is formed out of a non-writer, but here are some suggestions, things that have been helpful for me.

1. Write!

The…

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I Almost Died

Noel Piper

So far, the landmark Something-Zero birthdays—20, 30, 40—have been no big deal for me. But this year, I beg the kindness of my older and wiser friends, because I’d been moping a few months about the birthday due before the end of the year—60. I never knew when I crossed the halfway line of my life, but I do know sixty is definitely on the death side of the midmark of my life span, and I don’t like that thought.

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Recipe for Thanks-giving

Noel Piper

What turns the 4th Thursday of November into Thanksgiving? Turkey? I know one family who doesn’t like turkey. Their traditional Thanksgiving meal is Vietnamese carryout. But whatever our food traditions, is that all there is? Not if we plan real thanks into the day.

If we want to give thanks, we need only two things. Something we’re thankful for and somebody to thank. Seems so obvious, but I think I need to say it because it’s amazing how many people…

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On Father's Day 2007

Noel Piper

I haven’t been able to phone my dad on Father’s Day for more than 15 years. But I remember him today. And as years pass, the things that were hard seem smaller and the strong roots of my father’s life seem more and more important.

For Daddy’s funeral, my husband wrote a poem remembering the strength of Daddy’s life. Psalm 1 was Daddy’s favorite passage of Scripture. It was a sweet thing today to read it again and to give…

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Ruth Bell Graham

Noel Piper

On my “mentors” shelf sit books by Edith Schaeffer, Ann Ortlund, Gail MacDonald, Elisabeth Elliot, and Ruth Graham. I never met Ruth Bell Graham in person. But I spent time with her through her writing. She expressed a winsome, seemingly uninhibited breadth of personality and emotion—from impertinent to pensive.

Many Advent seasons, I read aloud to my children The Christmas Story (now revised and retitled, One Wintry Night). We returned to it again and again because it tells the …

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Cameroon Impressions

Noel Piper

If you can’t walk, even with crutches, and you don’t have a wheelchair, will you stay home? Or will you find some way—any way—to get to the market and to church? How will you move without a chair?

In Cameroon, when our short-term team saw people arriving at our work sites to receive a wheelchair in the name of Jesus, we had a glimpse of what people are willing to endure in order to be mobile. Some—even adults—were carried…

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He died? Oh no!

Noel Piper

In 1929, young Elsie Viren was the efficient, capable new secretary to the pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church. By the time we Pipers arrived 51 years later in 1980, her days were filled with teaching Sunday school, visiting the church’s elderly and shut-ins and working 2 days a week at her manual typewriter in the office blessing all of Bethlehem’s missionaries with regular letters.

After more than 60 years devoted to the Lord and Bethlehem, it was a sad day…

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Holy Week at the Pipers’

Noel Piper

A Month of Preparation for Easter

Ordinarily at the Piper house, we begin looking toward Easter near the beginning of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday. That was February 21 this year. During the season, we have special devotional readings each Sunday. Along with the readings, we use candles to help us symbolize what was happening as the world moved toward Jesus’ death.

On the first Sunday of Lent, which would be the 6th Sunday before Easter—February 25 this year—7…

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Not a Curse, but a Blessing

Noel Piper

If you were born with a disability or know someone who was, imagine being born in a village where that is considered to be a shameful curse from the spirits—something to hide or get rid of.

In January, I was part of the Cameroon Harvest Project 2007. This was a joint mission of Bethlehem Baptist Church and Joni and Friends International Disabilities Ministry. The purpose was to distribute wheelchairs to people for whom a wheelchair is out of reach, either…

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Forgiveness, Forbearance, and Fertilizer

Noel Piper

What my husband said last Sunday at the end of a sermon on forgiveness and forebearance in marriage:

Picture your marriage as a grassy field. You enter it at the beginning full of hope and joy. You look out into the future and you see beautiful flowers and trees and rolling hills. And that beauty is what you see in each other. Your relationship is the field and flowers and the rolling hills. But before long, you begin to step…

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If the Lord Wills...

Noel Piper

I returned recently from 10 days in Cameroon, West Africa. A team of 14 was sent by Bethlehem Baptist, with the help of Joni and Friends, to distribute 100 wheelchairs through one disabilities ministry in Yaounde and one in Bamenda. There were 4 occupational or physical therapists, 4 handymen/mechanics, and the rest of us were support/go-fers.

From almost the beginning it was clear that we would fare better if we said the words, “If the Lord wills. . .” and

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