Month: May 2021

Shining Stars

I can close my eyes and go back in time to the house where I grew up. I remember stargazing with my father. We took turns squinting through his telescope, trying to focus on glowing dots that shimmered and winked with eye-catching brilliance. These pinpricks of light, born of heat and fire, stood out in sharp contrast to the smooth, ink-black sky.

Do you consider yourself to be a shining star? I’m not talking about reaching the heights of human achievement, but standing out as a light against a dark background of brokenness and evil. The apostle Paul told the Philippian…

Taken In

My old dog sits by my side and stares off into space. A penny for her thoughts. One thing I know she isn’t thinking about is dying, because dogs don’t “understand.” They don’t think about future things. But we do. No matter our age or health or wealth, we at some point think about dying. That’s because we, unlike beasts, have “understanding,” according to Psalm 49:20. We know that we will die, and there’s nothing we can do about it. “No one can redeem the life of another or give to God a ransom for them” (v. 7). No one has…

Prayer resources

In this time of crisis if you are struggling to pray, you are not alone! Though we continue to pray for ourselves and our nation, many of us are tired of praying and are not even sure of how to pray anymore. Let's turn to Jesus to re-learn what He taught us about prayer and also to look at how…

Abundant Waters

In Australia, a report outlined “a grim story” of extreme drought, heat, and fire. The account described a horrific year with only minuscule rainfall, turning parched brush into tinder. Raging fires torched the countryside. Fish died. Crops failed. All because they didn’t have a simple resource we often take for granted—this supply we all need in order to live: water.

Israel found itself in its own terrifying dilemma. As the people camped in the dusty, barren desert, we read this alarming line: “There was no water for the people to drink” (Exodus 17:1). The people were afraid. Their throats were dry.…

As the second wave scorches through our country like a ravaging fire, it is hard not to be affected. Every…

Renewed Vision

After a painful minor surgery on my left eye, my doctor recommended a vision test. With confidence, I covered my right eye and read each line on the chart with ease. Covering my left eye, I gasped. How could I not realize I’d been so blind?

While adjusting to new glasses and renewed vision, I thought of how daily trials often caused me to be spiritually nearsighted. Focusing only on what I could see up-close—my pain and ever-changing circumstances—I became blind to the faithfulness of my eternal and unchanging God. With such a limited perspective, hope became an unattainable blur.

First Samuel…

Listening to Wise Advice

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln once found himself wanting to please a politician, so he issued a command to transfer certain Union Army regiments. When the secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, received the order, he refused to carry it out. He said that the president was a fool. Lincoln was told what Stanton had said, and he replied: “If Stanton said I’m a fool, then I must be, for he is nearly always right. I’ll see for myself.” As the two men talked, the president quickly realized that his decision was a serious mistake, and without hesitation…

Racist or Mentally Ill: What Would You Do?

Read: 1 Timothy 2:1–4   I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people . . . that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.…

IN Glimpses of Hope

Have you been struggling lately to make sense of the world around you? The news of the pandemic fills our mobile and television screens, and its hard-to-find hope amidst the rolling dark clouds of death and uncertainty. Psalm 18: 28 says “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” Now more than ever we need…

IN Stories of Hope

In these trying times, grief appears to be the primary emotion that we are all faced with. Each day, the loss seems closer to home, and we are left bewildered by the world around us. We also perhaps have numerous questions on the goodness of God, and we wonder if we will ever recover from this devastation. These real-life testimonials…

Singing Over Us

A young father held his baby boy in his arms, singing to him and rocking him in soothing rhythm. Music played in the background while the father sang out the lyrics to his son. The baby was hearing-impaired, unable to hear the melody or the words. Yet the father sang anyway, in a beautiful, tender act of love toward his son. And his efforts were rewarded with a delightful smile from the baby boy.

 

The imagery of the father-son exchange bears a striking resemblance to the words of Zephaniah. The Old Testament prophet says that God will joyfully sing over His…

Noticing Nature

A friend and I recently visited a favorite walking spot of mine. Climbing a windswept hill, we crossed a field of wildflowers into a forest of towering pines, then descended into a valley where we paused a moment. Clouds floated softly above us. A stream trickled nearby. The only sounds were birdsongs. Jason and I stood there silently for fifteen minutes, taking it all in.

As it turns out, our actions that day were deeply therapeutic. According to research from the University of Derby, people who stop to contemplate nature experience higher levels of happiness, lower levels of anxiety, and a…

Legally His

Liz cried for joy when she and her husband received the birth certificate and passport for their child, making the adoption legally binding. Now Milena would always be their daughter, forever part of their family. As she pondered the legal process, she also thought of the “true exchange” that happens when we become part of Jesus’s family: “No longer are we held down by our birthright of sin and brokenness.” Rather, she continued, we enter into the fullness of God’s kingdom legally when we are adopted as His children.

In the apostle Paul’s day, if a Roman family adopted a son,…

We are breathing in unprecedented times. The greatest fear reading the charts today is that I may turn into a…

Do you see us Lord?

Do you hear us crying out to you?

Do you see our land ravaged by death and…

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