mm

About Monica Brands

Monica is from Edgerton, Minnesota, where she grew up on a farm with seven siblings. She studied English and Theology at Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights and worked with children with special needs at Elim Christian Services before completing a Master of Theological Studies degree at Calvin Seminary in Grand Rapids. She treasures time with friends, family, and her awesome nieces and nephews.

Don’t Feed the Trolls

By |2019-09-12T12:47:18-04:00September 16th, 2019|

Ever heard the expression, “Don’t feed the trolls”? “Trolls” refers to a new problem in today’s digital world—online users who repeatedly post intentionally inflammatory and hurtful comments on news or social media discussion boards. But ignoring such comments—not “feeding” the trolls—makes it harder for them to derail a conversation...

Precious

By |2019-07-12T16:28:38-04:00July 16th, 2019|

“My precious . . .” First portrayed in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the image of the emaciated creature Gollum in his maniacal obsession with the “precious ring of power” has become an iconic one today—for greed, obsession, even insanity. It’s also a troublingly relatable image. In his tormented love-hate relationship with both the ring and with himself, Gollum’s voice echoes the hunger in our own hearts...

Love and Peace

By |2019-02-06T09:44:57-04:00February 8th, 2019|

It always amazes me the way peace—powerful, unexplainable peace (Philippians 4:7)—can somehow fill our hearts even in our deepest grief. I experienced this most recently at my father’s memorial service. As a long line of sympathetic acquaintances passed by offering their condolences, I was relieved to see a good high school friend. Without a word, he simply wrapped me in a long bear hug...

Terrible and Beautiful Things

By |2018-10-05T12:47:55-04:00October 16th, 2018|

Fear can leave us frozen. We know all the reasons to be afraid—everything that’s hurt us in the past, everything that could easily do so again. So sometimes we’re stuck—unable to go back; too afraid to move forward. I just can’t do it. I’m not smart enough, strong enough, or brave enough to handle being hurt like that again...

For Our Friends

By |2018-09-24T11:14:13-04:00October 1st, 2018|

In Emily Bronte’s novel Wuthering Heights, a cantankerous man who often quotes the Bible to criticize others is memorably described as “the wearisomest self-righteous Pharisee that ever ransacked a Bible to rake [apply] the promises to himself and fling the curses to his neighbours.” It’s a funny line; and it may even bring particular people to mind. But aren’t we all a bit like this...

Perfect Imperfection

By |2018-06-22T15:38:04-04:00July 25th, 2018|

A college professor of mine, picking up on my perfectionism-induced procrastination, gave me some wise advice. “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good,” he said, explaining that striving for perfect performance can prevent the risks necessary for growth. Accepting that my work would always be imperfect would give me the freedom to keep growing...