The Greatest Gift

By | 2019-03-20T12:15:53+00:00 March 31st, 2019|

Over the years, my friend Barbara has given me countless encouraging cards and thoughtful presents. After I told her I’d received Jesus as my Savior, she handed me the greatest gift she’d ever given me—my first Bible. She said, “You can grow closer to God and mature spiritually by meeting with Him daily, reading Scripture, praying, and trusting and obeying Him.” My life changed when Barbara invited me to get to know God better...

Creator and Sustainer

By | 2019-03-19T12:27:41+00:00 March 30th, 2019|

Working with a magnifying glass and tweezers, Swiss watchmaker Phillipe meticulously explained to me how he takes apart, cleans, and reassembles the tiny parts of specialty mechanical watches. Looking at all the intricate pieces, Phillipe showed me the essential component of the timepiece, the mainspring. The mainspring is the component that moves all the gears to allow the watch to keep time...

Bright Lights

By | 2019-03-19T12:22:26+00:00 March 29th, 2019|

In the summer of 2015, a group from our church was sobered by what we saw in Mathare, one of the slums in Nairobi, Kenya. We visited a school with dirt floors, rusting metal walls, and wooden benches. But against the backdrop of extremely humble surroundings, one person stood out. Her name was Brilliant, and the name couldn’t have fit her better...

Surrounded by God

By | 2019-03-18T12:29:37+00:00 March 28th, 2019|

In a busy airport, a young mother struggled alone. Her toddler was in full tantrum mode—screaming, kicking, and refusing to board their plane. Overwhelmed and heavily pregnant, the burdened young mother finally gave up, sinking to the floor in frustration, covering her face, and starting to sob. Suddenly six or seven women travelers, all strangers, formed a circle around the young mother and her child—sharing snacks, water, gentle hugs, and even a nursery song...

Remembering My Father

By | 2019-03-18T12:24:25+00:00 March 27th, 2019|

When I remember my dad, I picture him best outdoors hammering or gardening or downstairs working in his cluttered workroom, stuffed with fascinating tools and gadgets. His hands were always busy at a task or project—sometimes building (a garage or a deck or a birdhouse), sometimes locksmithing, and sometimes designing jewelry and stained-glass art...

Fluff and Other Stuff

By | 2019-03-18T12:19:10+00:00 March 26th, 2019|

Winnie the Pooh famously said, “If the person you are talking to doesn’t appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ear.” I’ve learned over the years that Winnie might be on to something. When someone won’t listen to you even though following your counsel would be to their advantage, it may be that their reticence is nothing more than a small piece of fluff in their ear...

The Blessing Is Coming

By | 2019-03-18T12:14:27+00:00 March 25th, 2019|

A friend and I went for a walk with her grandkids. While pushing the stroller, she commented that her steps were being wasted—they weren’t being counted on the activity tracker she wore on her wrist because she wasn’t swinging her arm. I reminded her that those steps were still helping her physical health. “Yeah,” she laughed. “But I really want that electronic gold star!”...

Singing in the Spirit

By | 2019-03-14T12:27:22+00:00 March 24th, 2019|

During the Welsh Revivals of the early twentieth century, Bible teacher and author G. Campbell Morgan described what he observed. He believed the presence of God’s Holy Spirit was moving on “billowing waves of sacred song.” Morgan wrote that he had seen the unifying influence of music in meetings that encouraged voluntary prayers, confession, and spontaneous singing...

Obscured by Clouds

By | 2019-03-14T12:21:24+00:00 March 23rd, 2019|

A rare supermoon appeared in November 2016—the moon in its orbit reached its closest point to the earth in over sixty years and so appeared bigger and brighter than at other times. But for me that day the skies were shrouded in gray. Although I saw photos of this wonder from friends in other places, as I gazed upward I had to trust that the supermoon was lurking behind the clouds...

Bearing the Burden of Wrongs

By | 2019-03-13T12:29:33+00:00 March 22nd, 2019|

On January 30, 2018, almost thirty-eight years after his conviction, Malcolm Alexander walked out of prison a free man. DNA evidence cleared Alexander, who had steadfastly maintained his innocence amid a myriad of court proceedings that were tragically unjust. An incompetent defense attorney (later disbarred), shoddy evidence, and dubious investigative tactics all put an innocent man in prison for nearly four decades...