Living in the Branches

By |2020-04-30T09:56:27-04:00May 1st, 2020|

As I shared with my counselor my roller-coaster of emotions after a stress-filled week, she listened thoughtfully. Then she invited me to look out the window at the trees, lush with autumnal oranges and golds, the branches swaying in the wind. Pointing out that the trunks weren’t moving at all in the wind, my counselor explained, “We’re a bit like that..."

Run Toward Challenge

By |2020-04-20T16:21:22-04:00April 25th, 2020|

Tom chased the young men who were stealing his poor friend’s bike. He didn’t have a plan. He only knew he needed to get it back. To his surprise, the three thieves looked his way, dropped the bike and backed away. Tom was both relieved and impressed with himself as he picked up the bike and turned around. That’s when he saw Jeff, his muscular friend who had been trailing close behind...

The Singing Revolution

By |2020-04-17T11:54:11-04:00April 20th, 2020|

What does it take to ignite a revolution? Guns? Bombs? Guerrilla warfare? In late-1980s Estonia, it took songs. After the people had lived under the burden of Soviet occupation for decades, a movement began with the singing of a series of patriotic songs. These songs birthed the “Singing Revolution,” which played a key role in restoring Estonian independence in 1991...

Being Cared For

By |2020-04-16T12:04:02-04:00April 18th, 2020|

Debbie, the owner of a housecleaning service, was always searching for more clients to build up her business. On one call she talked with a woman whose response was, “I won’t be able to afford that now; I’m undergoing cancer treatment.” Right then Debbie decided that “no woman undergoing cancer treatment would ever be turned away. They would even be offered a free housecleaning service...”

Better than Life

By |2020-03-12T12:13:07-04:00March 14th, 2020|

Though Mary loved Jesus—life was hard, real hard. Two sons preceded her in death as did two grandsons, both victims of shootings. And Mary herself suffered a crippling stroke that left her paralyzed on one side. Yet, as soon as she was able she made her way to church services where it wasn’t uncommon for her—with fractured speech—to express praise to the Lord with words like, “My soul loves Jesus; bless His name..."

Whack-a-Mole

By |2020-03-11T12:11:35-04:00March 13th, 2020|

You might know what it’s like. The bills keep arriving after a medical procedure—from the anesthesiologist, the surgeon, the lab, the facility. Jason experienced this after an emergency surgery. He complained, “We owe thousands of dollars after insurance. If only we can get these bills paid, then life will be good and I’ll be content...

The Reality of God

By |2020-02-18T12:11:11-05:00February 19th, 2020|

In C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, all of Narnia is thrilled when the mighty lion Aslan reappears after a long absence. Their joy turns to sorrow, however, when Aslan concedes to a demand made by the evil White Witch. Faced with Aslan’s apparent defeat, the Narnians experience his power when he emits an earsplitting roar that causes the witch to flee in terror...

When Life Is Hard

By |2020-02-12T12:05:26-05:00February 14th, 2020|

Physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted, I curled up in my recliner. Our family had followed God’s leading and had moved from California to Wisconsin. After we arrived, our car broke down and left us without a vehicle for two months. Meanwhile, my husband’s limited mobility after an unexpected back surgery and my chronic pain complicated our unpacking. We uncovered costly problems with our new-to-us, old home...

A Time for Beauty

By |2020-01-31T16:04:45-05:00February 2nd, 2020|

One January morning I woke expecting to see the same dreary midwinter landscape that had greeted me for several weeks: beige grass poking through patches of snow, gray skies, and skeletal trees. Something unusual had happened overnight, though. A frost had coated everything with ice crystals. The lifeless and depressing landscape had become a beautiful scene that glistened in the sun and dazzled me...