fbpx
mm

About Xochitl Dixon

Xochitl (soh-cheel) equips and encourages readers to embrace God’s grace and grow deeper in their personal relationships with Christ and others. Serving as an author, speaker, and blogger at xedixon.com, she enjoys singing, reading, photography, motherhood, and being married to her best friend Dr. W. Alan Dixon Sr.

A Heavenly Reunion

By |2022-09-09T02:33:03-04:00September 9th, 2022|

When writing my mom’s obituary, I felt that the word died seemed too final for the hope I had in our promised reunion in heaven as fellow believers in Jesus. So, I wrote: “She was welcomed into the arms of Jesus.” Still, some days I grieve when looking at the more current family photos that don’t include my mom. Recently, though, I discovered a painter who creates family portraits with those we’ve lost. The artist uses the photos of loved ones who have gone before us to paint them into the picture of the family. With strokes of a paintbrush, this artist represents God’s promise of a heavenly reunion. I shed grateful tears at the thought of seeing my mom smiling by my side again.

The apostle Paul affirms that believers in Jesus don’t have to grieve “like the rest of mankind” (1 Thessalonians 4:13). “We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him” (v. 14). Paul acknowledges Jesus’ second coming and proclaims that all believers will be reunited with Jesus. “And so we will be with the Lord forever” (v. 17).

God’s promise of a heavenly reunion can comfort us when we’re grieving the loss of a loved one who has trusted Jesus. Our promised future with our Risen King also provides enduring hope when we face our own immortality, until the day Jesus comes or calls us home.

Rooted in Love

By |2022-09-03T02:33:11-04:00September 3rd, 2022|

I arrived at the cancer care center, where I’d be serving as my mom’s live-in caregiver, feeling alone and afraid. I’d left my family and support system more than 750 miles behind me. But before I could even touch my luggage, a man with a huge grin offered to help. By the time we reached the sixth floor, I’d made plans to meet Frank’s wife, Lori, who cared for him during his treatments. The couple soon became like family as we leaned on God and each other. We laughed, vented, cried, and prayed together. Though we all felt displaced, our connection to God and each other kept us rooted in love as we supported one another.

When Ruth committed to caring for her mother-in-law, Naomi, she left the security of familiarity behind. Ruth “entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters” (Ruth 2:3). The overseer told the landowner, Boaz, that Ruth “came to the field” and “remained” working “except for a short rest in the shelter” (v. 7). Ruth found a safe place with people willing to care for her as she cared for Naomi (vv. 8–9). And God provided for Ruth and Naomi though Boaz’s generosity (vv. 14–16).

Life’s circumstances can provide roads to unexpected places far beyond our comfort zones. As we remain connected to God and each other, He’ll keep us rooted in love as we support one another.

Radiant Drifters

By |2022-08-20T02:33:13-04:00August 20th, 2022|

Under the night sky in the spring of 2020, surfers rode bioluminescent waves along the coast of San Diego. These lightshows were caused by microscopic organisms called phytoplankton, a name derived from a Greek word meaning “wanderer” or “drifter.” During the day, the living organisms create red tides and capture sunlight that converts into chemical energy. When disturbed in the darkness, they produce an electric blue light.

Believers in Jesus are citizens of heaven who, much like the red-tide algae, live like wanderers or drifters on earth. When difficult circumstances disturb our well-laid plans, the Holy Spirit empowers us to respond like Jesus—the Light of the world—so we can reflect His radiant character in the darkness. According to Paul, nothing is more valuable than our intimacy with Christ and the righteousness that comes through our faith in Him (Philippians 3:8–9). His life proved that knowing Jesus and the power of His resurrection changes us, impacting the way we live and the way we respond when trials disrupt our lives (vv. 10–16).

When we spend time with God’s Son daily, the Holy Spirit equips us with the truth we need—enabling us to face every challenge on this earth in ways that reflect Christ’s character (vv. 17–21). We can be beacons of God’s love and hope, cutting through the darkness until the day He calls us home or comes again.

The Privilege of Stewardship

By |2022-08-04T02:33:06-04:00August 4th, 2022|

While on vacation, my husband and I walked along the beach. We noticed a large square patch of sand blocked off by a makeshift fence. A young man explained that he worked around the clock with a team of volunteers committed to guarding the eggs in each sea turtle’s nest. Once the hatchlings emerged from their nest, the presence of both animals and humans threaten and decrease their chance of survival. “Even with all our efforts,” he said, “scientists estimate that only one out of every five thousand hatchlings reach adulthood.” These bleak numbers didn’t discourage this young man, however. His passion for selflessly serving the hatchlings deepened my desire for respecting and protecting sea turtles. Now I wear a sea turtle pendant that reminds me of my God-given responsibility to care for the creatures He’s made. 

When God created the world, He provided a habitat for each creature to thrive and live in interdependently (Genesis 1:20–25). When He created His image-bearers, God intended for us to “rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground” (v. 26). He helps us serve Him as responsible stewards who use our God-given authority to care for His vast creation.

Flexing Faith Muscles

By |2022-07-14T02:33:03-04:00July 14th, 2022|

During a trip to the zoo, I stopped to rest near the sloth exhibit. The creature hung upside down. He seemed content being completely still. I sighed. Because of my health issues, I struggled with stillness and desperately wanted to move forward, to do something—anything. Resenting my limitations, I longed to stop feeling so weak. But while staring at the sloth, I observed how he stretched one arm, gripped a nearby branch, and stopped again. Being still required strength. If I wanted to be content with moving slow or being as still as the sloth, I needed more than incredible muscle power. To trust God with every dragging moment of my life, I needed supernatural power.

In Psalm 46, the writer proclaims that God doesn’t just give us strength, He is our strength (v. 1). No matter what’s going on around us, the “Lord Almighty is with us” (v. 7). The psalmist repeats this truth with conviction (v. 11).

Like the sloth, our day-to-day adventures often require slow steps and extended periods of seemingly impossible stillness. When we rely on God’s unchanging character, we can depend on His strength no matter what plan and pace He determines is right for us.

Though we may continue to battle afflictions or struggle with waiting, God remains faithfully present. Even when we don’t feel strong, He’ll help us flex our faith muscles.

Celestial Communion

By |2022-07-01T02:33:05-04:00July 1st, 2022|

When Apollo 11’s Eagle lunar module landed on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969, the space travelers took time to recover from their flight before stepping onto the moon’s surface. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin had received permission to bring bread and wine so he could take communion. After reading Scripture, he tasted the first foods ever consumed on the moon. Later, he wrote: “I poured the wine into the chalice our church had given me. In the one-sixth gravity of the moon the wine curled slowly and gracefully up the side of the cup.” As Aldrin enjoyed this celestial communion, his actions proclaimed his belief in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and the guarantee of His second coming.

The apostle Paul encourages us to remember how Jesus sat with His disciples “on the night he was betrayed” (1 Corinthians 11:23). The Lord compared His soon-to-be sacrificed body to the bread (v. 24). He declared the wine as a symbol of “the new covenant” that secured our forgiveness and salvation through His blood shed on the cross (v. 25). Whenever and wherever we take communion, we’re proclaiming our trust in the reality of Jesus’ sacrifice and our hope in His promised second coming (v. 26).

No matter where we are, we can celebrate our faith in the one and only risen and returning Savior‒our Lord Jesus Christ‒with confidence.

 

 

God’s Provision

By |2022-06-27T09:06:02-04:00June 27th, 2022|

Three-year-old Buddy and his mom went to church each week to help unload groceries from the food ministry truck. When Buddy overheard his mom telling his grandmother that the delivery truck broke down, he said, “Oh, no. How will they do food ministry?” His mom explained that the church would have to raise money to buy a new truck. Buddy smiled. “I have money,” he said, leaving the room. He returned with a plastic jar decorated with colorful stickers and filled with coins, which amounted to a little over $38. Though Buddy didn’t have much, God combined his sacrificial offering with gifts from others to provide a new refrigerated truck so the church could continue serving their community.

A small amount offered generously is always more than enough when placed in God’s hands. In 2 Kings 4, a poor widow asked the prophet Elisha for financial assistance. He told her to take inventory of her own resources, reach out to her neighbors for help, then follow his instructions (vv. 1–4). In a miraculous display of provision, God used the widow’s small amount of oil to fill all the jars she collected from her neighbors (vv. 5–6). Elisha told her, “Sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left” (v. 7).

When we focus on what we don’t have, we risk missing out on watching God do great things with what He’s given us.

Spotting Rainbows of Hope

By |2022-06-03T09:06:05-04:00June 3rd, 2022|

During an October vacation, another battle with chronic pain forced me to spend the first few days recovering in our room. My mood became as overcast as the sky. When I finally ventured out to enjoy sightseeing at a nearby lighthouse with my husband, gray clouds blocked much of our view. Still, I snapped a few photos of the shadowy mountains and dull horizon.

Later, disappointed because a downpour tucked us in for the night, I skimmed through our digital pictures. Gasping, I handed my husband the camera. “A rainbow!” Focused on the gloominess earlier, I’d missed out on God refreshing my weary spirit with the unexpected glimpse of hope (Genesis 9:13–15).

Physical or emotional suffering can often drag us down into the depths of despair. Desperate for refreshment, we thirst for reminders of God’s constant presence and infinite power (Psalm 42:1–3). As we recall the countless times our Lord has come through for us and for others in the past, we can trust our hope is secured in Him no matter how downcast we feel in the moment (vv. 4–5).

When bad attitudes or difficult circumstances dim our vision, God invites us to call on Him, read His Word, and trust His faithfulness (vv. 7–11). As we seek the Lord, we can rely on Him to help us spot rainbows of hope arched over the darkest days. Hallelujah!

Hope Cuts through Storms

By |2022-05-31T09:06:11-04:00May 31st, 2022|

In the spring of 2021, several storm-chasers recorded videos and took photos of a rainbow next to a tornado in Texas. In one video, long stalks of wheat in a field bent under the power of the whirling winds. A brilliant rainbow cut across the gray skyline and arched toward the twister. Bystanders in another video stood on the side of the road and watched the symbol of hope standing firm beside the twisting funnel-shaped cloud.

In Psalm 107, the psalmist offers hope and encourages us to turn to God during difficult times. He describes some who were in the middle of a storm, “at their wits’ end” (v. 27). “Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress” (v. 28).

God understands His children will sometimes struggle to feel hopeful when life feels like a storm. We need reminders of His faithfulness, especially when the horizon looks dark and tumultuous.

Whether our storms come as substantial obstacles in our lives, as emotional turmoil, or as mental stress, God can still our storms “to a whisper” and guide us to a place of refuge (vv. 29–30). Though we may not experience relief in our preferred way or time, we can trust God to keep the promises He’s given in Scripture. His enduring hope will cut through any storm.

Always Worth Sharing

By |2022-05-11T09:06:06-04:00May 11th, 2022|

After I became a believer in Jesus, I shared the gospel with my mother. Instead of making a decision to trust Jesus, as I expected, she stopped speaking to me for a year. Her bad experiences with people who claimed to follow Jesus made her distrust believers in Christ. I prayed for her and reached out to her weekly. The Holy Spirit comforted me and continued working on my heart as my mom gave me the silent treatment. When she finally answered my phone call, I committed to loving her and sharing God’s truth with her whenever I had the opportunity. Months after our reconciliation, she said I’d changed. Almost a year later, she received Jesus as her Savior. Our relationship deepened.

Believers in Jesus have access to the greatest gift given to humanity—Christ. The apostle Paul says we’re to “spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14). He refers to those who share the gospel as “the pleasing aroma of Christ” to those who believe, but acknowledges we reek of death to those who reject Jesus (vv. 15–16).

After we receive Christ as our Savior, we have the privilege of using our limited time on earth to spread His life-changing truth while loving others. Even during our hardest and loneliest moments, we can trust He’ll provide what we need. No matter what the personal cost, God’s good news is always worth sharing.

Go to Top