A Ready Remedy

By |2019-09-23T14:15:38-05:00September 30th, 2019|

Following the park guide, I scribbled notes as he taught about the plants of the Bahamian primeval forest. He told us which trees to avoid. The poisonwood tree, he said, secretes a black sap that causes a painful, itchy rash. But not to worry! The antidote could usually be found growing right next it. “Cut into the red bark of the gum elemi tree,” he said, “and rub the sap on the rash. It will immediately begin to heal...”

Who Am I?

By |2019-09-23T07:53:14-05:00September 29th, 2019|

Dave enjoyed his job, but for a long time he’d sensed a pull toward something else. Now he was about to fulfill his dream and step into mission work. But strangely, he began to have serious doubts. “I don’t deserve this,” he told a friend. “The mission board doesn’t know the real me. I’m not good enough.” Dave has some pretty good company. Mention the name of Moses and we think of leadership, strength, and the Ten Commandments...

“Just the Office”?

By |2019-09-23T07:52:05-05:00September 28th, 2019|

I gazed out at the rolling, green hills in Lancashire in northern England, noticing the stone fences enclosing some sheep dotted around the hills. Puffy clouds moved across the bright sky, and I inhaled deeply, drinking in the sight. When I remarked about the beautiful scene to the woman working at the retreat center I was visiting, she said, “You know, I never used to notice it before our guests would point it out...

Live Like Jesus Is Coming

By |2019-09-23T07:50:41-05:00September 27th, 2019|

I’m inspired by country singer Tim McGraw’s song “Live Like You Were Dying.” In it he describes some of the exciting “bucket list” things a man did after receiving some bad news about his health. He also chose to love and forgive people more freely—speaking to them more tenderly. The song recommends that we live well, as if knowing our lives will end soon...

Faith-Stand

By |2019-09-23T07:48:15-05:00September 26th, 2019|

Desmond Doss enlisted to serve in World War II as a non-combatant. Though his religious beliefs prevented him from carrying a gun, Doss ably served as a combat medic. In one battle, he withstood intense and repeated enemy fire to pull seventy-five soldiers in his unit to safety after they had been injured. His story is told in the documentary The Conscientious Objector and dramatized in the film Hacksaw Ridge...

False Places of Safety

By |2019-09-23T07:47:45-05:00September 25th, 2019|

When our dog Rupert was a puppy, he was so afraid of going outside I’d have to drag him to the park. After getting him there one day, I foolishly let him off his leash. He sprinted home, back to his place of safety. That experience reminded me of a man I met on a plane, who began apologizing to me as we taxied down the runway. “I’m going to get drunk on this flight,” he said...

Qualified in God’s Eyes

By |2019-09-18T13:56:23-05:00September 24th, 2019|

A technology-consulting firm hired me after college although I couldn’t write a line of computer code and had very little business knowledge. During the interview process for my entry-level position, I learned that the company did not place high value on work experience. Instead, personal qualities such as the ability to solve problems creatively, exercise good judgment, and work well with a team were more important...

A Shield Around Me

By |2019-09-18T13:56:55-05:00September 23rd, 2019|

Our church experienced an agonizing loss when Paul, our gifted worship minister, died at the age of thirty-one in a boating accident. Paul and his wife, DuRhonda, were no strangers to pain; they had buried several children who hadn’t made it to term. Now there would be another grave near the small graves of these little ones. The life-crushing crisis this family experienced hit those who loved them like a knockout blow to the head...

Growing to Know

By |2019-09-17T12:37:47-05:00September 22nd, 2019|

“You’re going to be an exchange student!” I was seventeen and thrilled to hear I was approved to study in Germany. But it was only three months before my departure, and I had never taken a class in German. The days that followed found me cramming—studying for hours and even writing words on my hands to memorize them...

Name of Names

By |2019-09-18T13:57:44-05:00September 21st, 2019|

The name of Antonio Stradivari (1644–1737) is legendary in the world of music. His violins, cellos, and violas are so treasured for their craftsmanship and clarity of sound that many have been given their own names. One of them, for instance, is known as the Messiah-Salabue Stradivarius...