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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.

More than Conquerors

By |2023-01-08T01:33:11-05:00January 8th, 2023|

When my husband coached our son’s Little League baseball team, he rewarded the players with an end-of-year party and acknowledged their improvement over the season. One of our youngest players, Dustin, approached me during the event. “Didn’t we lose the game today?”

“Yes,” I said. “But we’re proud of you for doing your best.”

“I know,” he said. “But we lost. Right?”

I nodded.

“Then why do I feel like a winner?” Dustin asked.

Smiling, I said, “Because you are a winner.”

Dustin had thought that losing a game meant he was a failure even when he’d done his best. As believers in Jesus, our battle is not confined to a sports field. Still, it’s often tempting to view a tough season of life as a reflection of our worth.

The apostle Paul affirms the connection between our present suffering and our future glory as God’s children. Having given Himself for us, Jesus continues to work on our behalf during our ongoing battle with sin and transforms us to His likeness (Romans 8:31–32). Though we’ll all experience hardship and persecution, the Lord’s unwavering love helps us persevere (vv. 33–34).

As God’s children, we may be tempted to allow struggles to define our worth. However, our ultimate victory is guaranteed. We may stumble along the way, but we will always be more than conquerors in Christ (vv. 35–39).

Rescue Mission

By |2023-01-03T01:33:22-05:00January 3rd, 2023|

Volunteers at a farm animal rescue organization in Australia found a wandering sheep weighed down by more than seventy-five pounds of filthy, matted wool. Rescuers suspected the sheep had been forgotten and lost in the bush for at least five years. Volunteers soothed him through the uncomfortable process of shearing away his heavy fleece. Once freed from his burden, Baarack ate. His legs grew stronger. He became more confident and content as he spent time with his rescuers and the other animals at the sanctuary.

The psalmist David understood the pain of being weighed down with heavy burdens, feeling forgotten and lost, and desperate for a rescue mission. In Psalm 38, David cried out to God. He had experienced isolation, betrayal, and helplessness (vv. 11–14). Still, he prayed with confidence: “Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (v. 15). David didn’t deny his predicament or minimize his inner turmoil and physical ailments (vv. 16–20). Instead, he trusted that God would be near and answer him at the right time and in the right way (vv. 21–22).

When we feel weighed down by physical, mental, or emotional burdens, God remains committed to the rescue mission He planned from the day He created us. We can count on His presence when we cry out to Him: “Come quickly to help me, my Lord and my Savior” (v. 22).

The Power of God’s Word

By |2022-12-24T01:33:03-05:00December 24th, 2022|

On Christmas Eve 1968, the Apollo 8 astronauts—Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders—became the first humans to enter lunar orbit. As they circled the moon ten times, they shared images of the moon and the earth. During a live broadcast, they took turns reading from Genesis 1. At the fortieth anniversary celebration, Borman said, “We were told that on Christmas Eve we would have the largest audience that had ever listened to a human voice. And the only instructions that we got from NASA was to do something appropriate.” The Bible verses spoken by the Apollo 8 astronauts still plant seeds of truth into the listening hearts of people who hear the historical recording.

Through the prophet Isaiah, the Lord says, “Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live” (Isaiah 55:3). Revealing His free offer of salvation, God invites us to turn from our sin and receive His mercy and forgiveness (vv. 6–7). He declares the divine authority of His thoughts and His actions, which are too vast for us to truly understand (vv. 8–9). Still, He gives us opportunity to share His life-transforming words of Scripture, which point to Jesus, and affirm that He is responsible for the spiritual growth of His people (vv. 10–13).

The Holy Spirit helps us share the gospel as the Father fulfills all His promises according to His perfect plan and pace.

Mutual Encouragement

By |2022-12-01T01:33:21-05:00December 1st, 2022|

After another week of being beaten down by more medical setbacks, I slumped onto the sofa. I didn’t want to think about anything. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I couldn’t even pray. Discouragement and doubt weighed me down as I turned on the television. I began watching a commercial showing a little girl talking to her younger brother. “You’re a champion,” she said. As she continued affirming him, his grin grew. So did mine.

God’s people have always struggled with discouragement and doubt. Quoting Psalm 95, which affirms that God’s voice can be heard through the Holy Spirit, the writer of Hebrews warned believers in Jesus to avoid the mistakes made by the Israelites while wandering in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:7–11). “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God,” he wrote. “But encourage each other daily” (vv. 12–13).

With our lifeline of hope secured in Christ, we can experience the power-packed fuel we need to persevere: mutual encouragement within the fellowship of believers (v. 13). When one believer doubts, other believers can offer affirmation and accountability. As God strengthens us, His people, we can offer the power of mutual encouragement to one another.

Enduring Hope

By |2022-11-25T01:33:14-05:00November 25th, 2022|

Doctors diagnosed four-year-old Solomon with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a progressive muscle-degenerating disease that primarily affects boys. A year later, doctors discussed wheelchairs with the family. But Solomon protested that he didn’t want to have to use a wheelchair. Family and friends diligently prayed for him and raised funds for a professionally trained service dog to help keep him out of that wheelchair for as long as possible. Tails for Life, the organization that trained Callie as my service dog, is currently preparing Waffles to serve Solomon.

Though Solomon accepts his treatment with resilience, often bursting out in song to praise God, some days are harder. On one of those difficult days, Solomon hugged his mom and said, “I’m happy there is no Duchenne’s in heaven.”

The degenerating effects of sickness affect all people on this side of eternity. Like Solomon, however, we have an enduring hope that can strengthen our resolve on those inevitable tough days. God gives us the hope and promise of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1). Our Creator and Sustainer will “dwell” among us by making His home with us (v. 3). He will “wipe every tear” from our eyes (v. 4). “There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things [will pass] away” (v. 4). When the wait feels “too hard” or “too long,” we can experience peace because God’s promise will be fulfilled.

Better Together

By |2022-11-01T02:33:03-04:00November 1st, 2022|

Marie, a single working mom, rarely missed church or Bible study. Each week, she rode the bus to and from church with her five children and helped with set up and clean up.

One Sunday, the pastor told Marie that some church members had donated gifts for the family. One couple provided the family a house with reduced rent. Another couple offered her a job with benefits at their coffee shop. A young man gave her an old car he’d rebuilt and promised to serve as her personal mechanic. Marie thanked God for the joy of living in a community devoted to serving God and each other.

Though we may not all be able to give as generously as Marie’s church family, God’s people are designed to help each other. The apostle Luke described believers in Jesus as “devoted” to the “apostles’ teaching and to fellowship” (Acts 2:42). When we combine our resources, we can work together to help those in need (vv. 44–45). As we grow closer to God and each other, we can care for one another. Witnessing God’s love demonstrated through His people’s actions can lead others to a saving relationship with Jesus (vv. 46–47).

We can serve others with a smile or a kind deed. We can offer a job connection, a financial gift, or a prayer. Whatever we do as God works in and through us, we’re simply better together.

Reasons to Rejoice

By |2022-10-19T02:33:12-04:00October 19th, 2022|

When Ms. Glenda walked into the church commons area, her infectious joy filled the room. She had just recovered from a difficult medical procedure. As she approached me for our usual after-church greeting, I thanked God for all the times over the years that she had wept with me, gently corrected me, and offered encouragement. She’d even asked for forgiveness when she thought she’d hurt my feelings. Whatever the situation, we always ended up praising the Lord.
Mama Glenda, as she lets me call her, wrapped me in a gentle hug. “Hi, Baby,” she said. We enjoyed a short conversation and prayed together before she left—humming and singing as always, looking for someone else to bless.

Mama Glenda always invites me to share my struggles honestly and reminds me that we have many reasons to praise God.

In Psalm 64, David boldly approaches God with his complaints and concerns (v. 1). He voices his frustrations about the wickedness he sees around him (vv. 2–6). He doesn’t lose confidence in God’s power or the reliability of His promises (vv. 7–8). He knows that one day, “The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him, all the upright in heart will glory in him!” (v. 10).

As we wait for Jesus’ return, we’ll face tough times. But we’ll always have reasons to rejoice in every day God has made.

Grieving and Grateful

By |2022-10-05T02:33:03-04:00October 5th, 2022|

After my mom died, one of her fellow cancer patients approached me. “Your mom was so kind to me," she said, sobbing. “I’m sorry she died  . . . instead of me.”

“My mom loved you,” I said. “We prayed God would let you see your boys grow up.” Holding her hands, I wept with her and asked God to help her grieve peacefully. I also thanked Him for her remission that allowed her to continue loving her husband and two growing children.

The Bible reveals the complexity of grief when Job lost almost everything, including all his children. Job grieved and “fell to the ground in worship” (Job 1:20). With a heartbreaking and hopeful act of surrender and expression of gratitude, he declared, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised” (v. 21). While Job would struggle mightily later through his grieving and God’s rebuilding of his life, in this moment he accepted and even rejoiced in His authority over the good and bad situations.

God understands the many ways we process and struggle with emotions. He invites us to grieve with honesty and vulnerability. Even when sorrow seems endless and unbearable, God affirms that He hasn’t and won’t change. With this promise, He comforts us and empowers us to be grateful for His presence.

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.

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