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    The Hand of Comfort

    “Patient is combative,” the nurse’s notes read. 

    What she didn’t realize until later was that I was having an allergic reaction as I awakened after a complicated open-heart surgery. I was a mess, with a tube down my throat. My body began shaking violently, straining against the straps on my arms, which were there to keep me from suddenly pulling out my breathing tube. It was a frightening and painful episode. At one point, a nurse’s assistant to the right side of my bed reached down and simply held my hand. It was an unexpected move, and it struck me as…

    Loving God and others through our scars

    They might not be visible, but we all have scars—both physical and emotional. And our natural instinct is to hide them. But today on Discover the Word, the team will offer biblical encouragement and show how we can actually love God and love others with our scars. It’s part of what makes us “Beauty-Full Beings.” […]

    Texas shooting: The Aftermath

    On Sunday, while I was worshipping at my church, a shooting happened just a few miles away at First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. It turned out to be the deadliest church shooting in US history.

    The Undetected Sacredness of Circumstances

    We know that all things work together for good to those who love God… —Romans 8:28

    The circumstances of a saint’s life are ordained of God. In the life of a saint there is no such thing as chance. God by His providence brings you into circumstances that you can’t understand at all, but the Spirit of God understands. God brings you to places, among people,…

    Partakers of His Suffering

    …but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings… —1 Peter 4:13

    If you are going to be used by God, He will take you through a number of experiences that are not meant for you personally at all. They are designed to make you useful in His hands, and to enable you to understand what takes place in the lives of…

    Lessons From A Shooting Tragedy

    August 19, 2013, began like any other Monday at Uptown Baptist Church in Chicago, USA. As usual, I handled routine administrative tasks and worked on my sermon for the evening service at our soup kitchen ministry. The church employees were in the office working and chatting. No one knew it would become a day marked by tragedy.

    He Hears Us

    Life doesn’t always go as you dreamed it would. The road often includes heartache and pain and tears. You may never understand why things happen the way they do, but God is still good and He is still faithful. And He does hear us.

    Rooted in God

    When friends moved into a new home, they planted wisteria near their fence and looked forward to the lavender blossom that would appear after five years of growth. Over two decades they enjoyed this plant, carefully pruning and tending it. But suddenly the wisteria died, for their neighbors had poured some weed killer by the other side of the fence. The poison seeped into the wisteria’s roots and the tree perished—or so my friends thought. To their surprise, the following year some shoots came through the ground.

    We see the image of trees flourishing and perishing when the prophet Jeremiah relates…

    Surviving the Wilderness

    In the 1960s, the Kingston Trio released a song called “Desert Pete.” The ballad tells of a thirsty cowboy who is crossing the desert and finds a hand pump. Next to it, Desert Pete has left a note urging the reader not to drink from the jar hidden there but to use its contents to prime the pump.

    The cowboy resists the temptation to drink and uses the water as the note instructs. In reward for his obedience, he receives an abundance of cold, satisfying water. Had he not acted in faith, he would have had only a jar of unsatisfying,…

    7 Prayers for Those Battered by Natural Disasters

    Like many of you, my eyes have riveted on stories about hurricanes Irma, Jose, Katia, and Maria, which have dismantled the lives of thousands across the Caribbean. Added to these are the earthquakes in Mexico, the pummelling by Hurricane Harvey, and wildfires which have torched the western portion of the USA.

    In Preparation

    My friend Phil began chemo treatments in December 2016 for an aggressive form of lymphoma cancer. By God’s grace, he’d been prepared for this challenge in many ways. His wife had battled cancer several years before, and he had seen me go through several treatments in my own battle with an aggressive lymphoma. He had also just changed jobs, and the benefits and community support there were just what the doctor ordered. Most of all, he had been enjoying deep relationship with God.

    How Long?

    When I married, I thought I would have children immediately. That did not happen, and the pain of infertility brought me to my knees. I often cried out to God, “How long?” I knew God could change my circumstance. Why wasn’t He?

    Are you waiting on God? Are you asking, “How long … ?” Before justice prevails in our world? Before there is a cure for cancer? Before I am no longer in debt?  

    The prophet Habakkuk was well acquainted with that feeling. In the seventh century bc, he cried out to the Lord: “How long, O Lord, must I call…

    Hovering Over Us

    Betty’s daughter arrived home from an overseas trip, feeling unwell. When her pain became unbearable, Betty and her husband took her to the emergency room. The doctors and nurses set to work, and after a few hours one of the nurses said to Betty, “She’s going to be okay! We’re going to take good care of her and get her healed up.” In that moment, Betty felt peace and love flood over her. She realized that while she hovered over her daughter anxiously, the Lord is the perfect parent who nurtures His children, comforting them in difficult times.

    In the book…

    Finding Beauty in My Tragedy

    In my brief 22 years of living, I have known brokenness in too many ways: sexual abuse, anxiety, depression, bullying, anorexia, and suicidal thoughts. Some of it was inflicted on me, some self-inflicted and some of it was a result of not living in line with the Word of God and understanding the Father’s abundant love.

    Sweet and Sour

    When our toddler first bit into a lemon wedge, he wrinkled his nose, stuck out his tongue, and squeezed his eyes shut. “Sow-wah,” he said (sour).

    I chuckled as I reached for the piece of fruit, intending to toss it into the trash.

    “No!” Xavier scampered across the kitchen to get away from ne. “Moe-wah!” (more). His lips puckered with every juice-squirting bite. I winced when he finally handed me the rind and walked away.

    My taste buds accurately reflect my partiality to the sweet moments in life. My preference for avoiding all things bitter reminds me of Job’s wife, who seems to…