• Ministry > Our Daily Bread

    The Cure for Anxiety

    We were excited about moving for my husband’s job. But the unknowns and challenges leave me feeling anxious. Thoughts of sorting and packing up belongings. Looking for a place to live. My finding a new job too. Making my way around a new city, and getting settled. It was all  . . . unsettling. As I thought about my “to-do” list, words written by the apostle Paul echoed in my mind: Don’t worry, but pray (Phil. 4:6–7).

    If anyone could have been anxious about unknowns and challenges, it would have been Paul.  He was shipwrecked. He was beaten. He was jailed. In…

    It’s All a Gift!

    London’s Café Rendezvous has nice lighting, comfortable couches, and the smell of coffee in the air. What it doesn’t have are prices. Originally started as a business by a local church, the café was transformed a year after it started. The managers felt that God was calling them to do something radical—make everything on the menu free. Today you can order a coffee, cake, or sandwich without cost. There isn’t even a donation jar. It’s all a gift.

    I asked the manager why they were so generous. “We’re just trying to treat people the way God treats us,” he said. “God…

    Restored Failures

    A guest band was leading praise and worship at our church, and their passion for the Lord was moving. We could see—and feel—their enthusiasm.

    Then the musicians revealed that they were all ex-prisoners. Suddenly, their songs took on special meaning, and I saw why their words of praise meant so much to them. Their worship was a testimony of lives broken and restored.

    The world may embrace success. But stories of failure offer people hope too. They assure us that God loves us no matter how many times we have failed. In his book Hearts of Iron, Feet of Clay, pastor Gary Inrig…

    Restored Failures

    A guest band was leading praise and worship at our church, and their passion for the Lord was moving. We could see—and feel—their enthusiasm.

    Then the musicians revealed that they were all ex-prisoners. Suddenly, their songs took on special meaning, and I saw why their words of praise meant so much to them. Their worship was a testimony of lives broken and restored.

    The world may embrace success. But stories of failure offer people hope too. They assure us that God loves us no matter how many times we have failed. In his book Hearts of Iron, Feet of Clay, pastor Gary Inrig…

    Outside In?

    “Change: From the Inside Out or the Outside In?” the headline read, reflecting a popular trend today—the idea that outward changes like a makeover or better posture can be an easy way to change how we feel on the inside—and even change our lives.

    It’s an appealing concept—who wouldn’t want improving our lives to be as easy as a new look? Many of us have learned the hard way that changing deep-rooted habits can seem nearly impossible. Focusing on simple external changes offers hope that there is a quicker path toward improving our lives.

    But although such changes can improve our lives,…

    Outside In?

    “Change: From the Inside Out or the Outside In?” the headline read, reflecting a popular trend today—the idea that outward changes like a makeover or better posture can be an easy way to change how we feel on the inside—and even change our lives.

    It’s an appealing concept—who wouldn’t want improving our lives to be as easy as a new look? Many of us have learned the hard way that changing deep-rooted habits can seem nearly impossible. Focusing on simple external changes offers hope that there is a quicker path toward improving our lives.

    But although such changes can improve our lives,…

    Unexpected Grace

    It was an early Saturday morning in my sophomore year of high school, and I was eager to get to my job at the local bowling lanes. The evening before, I had stayed late to mop the muddy tile floors because the janitor called in sick.  I hadn’t bothered to tell the boss about the janitor so I could surprise him.  After all, what could go wrong? I thought.

    Plenty, as it turns out. 

    Stepping in the door, I saw inches of standing water, with bowling pins, rolls of toilet paper and boxes of paper score-sheets bobbing on top. Then I realized…

    Unexpected Grace

    It was an early Saturday morning in my sophomore year of high school, and I was eager to get to my job at the local bowling lanes. The evening before, I had stayed late to mop the muddy tile floors because the janitor called in sick.  I hadn’t bothered to tell the boss about the janitor so I could surprise him.  After all, what could go wrong? I thought.

    Plenty, as it turns out. 

    Stepping in the door, I saw inches of standing water, with bowling pins, rolls of toilet paper and boxes of paper score-sheets bobbing on top. Then I realized…

    First Things First

    When you travel by air, before the flight takes off an airline employee presents a safety briefing, which explains what to do if there is a loss of cabin pressure. Passengers are told that oxygen masks will drop from the compartment above and they are to put one on themselves before helping others. Why? Because before you can help anyone else, you need to be physically alert yourself.

    When Paul wrote to Timothy, he stressed the importance of maintaining his own spiritual health before helping and serving others. He reminded Timothy of his many responsibilities as a pastor: There were false…

    Trusting God Even If

    Due to an injury that occurred in 1992, I suffer from chronic pain in my upper back, shoulders, and neck. During the most excruciating and disheartening moments, it’s not always easy to trust or praise the Lord. But when my situation feels unbearable, God’s constant presence comforts me. He strengthens me and reassures me of His unchanging goodness, limitless power, and sustaining grace. And when I’m tempted to doubt my Lord, I’m encouraged by the determined faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They worshipped God and trusted He was with them, even when their situation seemed hopeless.

    When King Nebuchadnezzar threatened…

    Trusting God Even If

    Due to an injury that occurred in 1992, I suffer from chronic pain in my upper back, shoulders, and neck. During the most excruciating and disheartening moments, it’s not always easy to trust or praise the Lord. But when my situation feels unbearable, God’s constant presence comforts me. He strengthens me and reassures me of His unchanging goodness, limitless power, and sustaining grace. And when I’m tempted to doubt my Lord, I’m encouraged by the determined faith of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They worshipped God and trusted He was with them, even when their situation seemed hopeless.

    When King Nebuchadnezzar threatened…

    Jesus Loves Maysel

    When my sister Maysel was little, she would sing a familiar melody in her own way: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells Maysel.” This irritated me to no end! As one of her older, “wiser” sisters, I knew the words were “me so,” not “Maysel.” Yet she persisted in singing it her way.

    Now I think my sister had it right all along. The Bible does indeed tell Maysel, and all of us, that Jesus loves us. Over and over again we read that truth. Take, for example, the writings of the apostle John, “the disciple whom Jesus…

    Jesus Loves Maysel

    When my sister Maysel was little, she would sing a familiar melody in her own way: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells Maysel.” This irritated me to no end! As one of her older, “wiser” sisters, I knew the words were “me so,” not “Maysel.” Yet she persisted in singing it her way.

    Now I think my sister had it right all along. The Bible does indeed tell Maysel, and all of us, that Jesus loves us. Over and over again we read that truth. Take, for example, the writings of the apostle John, “the disciple whom Jesus…

    Christmas at MacPherson

    About 230 families and individuals live at Macpherson Gardens, Block 72 in my neighborhood. Each person has his or her own life story. On the tenth floor resides an elderly woman whose children have grown up, gotten married, and moved out. She lives by herself now. Just a few doors away from her is a young couple with two kids—a boy and a girl. And a few floors below lives a young man serving in the army. He has been to church before; maybe he will visit again on Christmas Day. I met these people last Christmas when our church…

    Christmas at MacPherson

    About 230 families and individuals live at Macpherson Gardens, Block 72 in my neighborhood. Each person has his or her own life story. On the tenth floor resides an elderly woman whose children have grown up, gotten married, and moved out. She lives by herself now. Just a few doors away from her is a young couple with two kids—a boy and a girl. And a few floors below lives a young man serving in the army. He has been to church before; maybe he will visit again on Christmas Day. I met these people last Christmas when our church…