Attitude of Gratitude

By |2019-12-06T13:50:00-05:00December 8th, 2019|

In my state in the US, the winters can be brutal, with sub-zero temperatures and never-ending snow. One bitterly cold day, as I shoveled snow for what seemed like the thousandth time, our postman paused in his rounds to ask how I was doing. I told him that I disliked winter and was weary of all the heavy snow. I then commented that his job must be pretty rough during these extreme weather conditions...

Beautifully Burdened

By |2019-11-19T13:13:00-05:00November 21st, 2019|

I awoke to pitch darkness. I hadn’t slept more than thirty minutes and my heart sensed that sleep wouldn’t return soon. A friend’s husband lay in the hospital, having received the dreaded news, “The cancer is back—in the brain and spine now.” My whole being hurt for my friends. What a heavy load! And yet, somehow my spirit was lifted through my sacred vigil of prayer...

Just a Touch

By |2019-10-23T07:53:17-05:00October 24th, 2019|

It was just a touch, but it made all the difference to Colin. As his small team was preparing to do charitable work in a region known for hostility to believers in Jesus, his stress level began to rise. When he shared his worries with a teammate, his friend stopped, placed his hand on his shoulder, and shared a few encouraging words with him...

Hang in There

By |2019-10-02T16:30:18-05:00October 9th, 2019|

My father-in-law turned seventy-eight recently, and during our family gathering to honor him, someone asked him, “What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?” His answer? “Hang in there.” Hang in there. It might be tempting to dismiss those words as simplistic. But my father-in-law wasn’t promoting blind optimism or positive thinking...

Shelter from the Storm

By |2019-10-02T16:29:49-05:00October 8th, 2019|

As the story goes, in 1763, a young minister, traveling on a cliffside road in Somerset, England, ducked into a cave to escape the flashes of lightning and pounding rain. As he looked out at Cheddar Gorge, he pondered the gift of finding shelter and peace in God. Waiting there, he began to write a hymn, “Rock of Ages,” with its memorable opening lines: “Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee...”

He Calms the Storms

By |2019-09-24T07:47:41-05:00October 4th, 2019|

Jim was frantically sharing about problems he was encountering with his work team: division, judgmental attitudes, and misunderstandings. After an hour of patiently listening to his concerns, I suggested, “Let’s ask Jesus what He would have us do in this situation.” We sat quietly for five minutes. Then something amazing happened. We both felt God’s peace cover us like a blanket...

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...

Spiritually Exhausted?

By |2019-08-12T17:14:46-05:00August 18th, 2019|

“Emotionally, we’ve sometimes worked a full day in one hour,” Zack Eswine writes in his book The Imperfect Pastor. Although he was referring specifically to the burdens pastors frequently carry, this is true for any of us. Weighty emotions and responsibilities can leave us physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted. And all we want to do is sleep...

Indestructible Love

By |2019-08-09T08:32:44-05:00August 9th, 2019|

When we first saw the stream in our backyard, it was just a thin vein of water trickling through a bed of rocks in the heat of the summer. Heavy wooden planks served as a bridge we could easily cross. Months later, torrents of rain pounded our area for several days in a row. Our tame little creek swelled into a quick-moving river four-feet deep and ten-feet wide...