A Kind Critique

By | 2019-05-03T12:13:48+00:00 May 14th, 2019|

During a landscape painting class, the teacher, a highly experienced professional artist, assessed my first assignment. He stood silently in front of my painting, one hand cupping his chin. Here we go, I thought. He’s going to say it’s terrible. But he didn’t. He said he liked the color scheme and the feeling of openness. Then he mentioned that the trees in the distance could be lightened...

Someone Who Leads

By | 2019-04-29T13:26:58+00:00 May 7th, 2019|

Who do you think of when you hear the word mentor? For me, it’s Pastor Rich. He saw my potential and believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. He modeled how to lead by serving in humility and love. As a result, I am now serving God by mentoring others. The prophet Elijah played a critical role in Elisha’s growth as a leader. Elijah found him plowing a field and invited him to be his protégé after God told him to anoint Elisha as his successor (1 Kings 19:16, 19)...

Of Saints and Sinners

By | 2019-04-24T12:14:00+00:00 April 30th, 2019|

Before she followed in the footsteps of John the Baptist by living in the desert, Mary of Egypt (c. ad 344–421) spent her youth pursuing illicit pleasures and seducing men. At the height of her sordid career, she journeyed to Jerusalem in an attempt to corrupt pilgrims. Instead, she experienced deep conviction of her sins and thereafter lived a life of repentance and solitude in the wilderness...

Transformed & Transforming

By | 2019-01-04T15:51:04+00:00 January 5th, 2019|

Tani and Modupe grew up in Nigeria and went to the UK to study in the 1970s. Having been personally transformed by God’s grace, they never imagined that they would be used to transform one of the most deprived and segregated communities in England—Anfield in Liverpool. As Drs. Tani and Modupe Omideyi faithfully sought God and served their community, God restored hope to many...

Walking in the Light

By | 2018-12-31T11:15:11+00:00 January 4th, 2019|

Darkness descended on our forest village when the moon disappeared. Lightning slashed the skies, followed by a rainstorm and crackling thunder. Awake and afraid, as a child I imagined all kinds of grisly monsters about to pounce on me! By daybreak, however, the sounds vanished, the sun rose, and calm returned as birds jubilated in the sunshine...

Mirrors and Hearers

By | 2018-12-14T11:10:50+00:00 December 16th, 2018|

When I emerged from my hotel in Kampala, Uganda, my hostess, who had come to pick me up for our seminar, looked at me with an amused grin. “What’s so funny?” I inquired. She laughed and asked, “Did you comb your hair?” It was my turn to laugh, for I had indeed forgotten to comb my hair. I’d looked at my reflection in the hotel mirror. How come I took no notice of what I saw...?

My Real Face

By | 2018-10-10T16:05:27+00:00 October 21st, 2018|

For years, feelings of unworthiness and shame over my less-than-godly past had an adverse impact on every aspect of my life. What if others discovered the extent of my blemished reputation? Though God helped me muster up courage to invite a ministry leader to lunch, I strived to seem perfect. I scrubbed my house spotless, whipped up a three-course meal, and donned my best jeans and blouse...

Always Accepted

By | 2018-10-10T15:54:49+00:00 October 20th, 2018|

After several years of struggling to keep up in her studies, Angie was finally taken out of her elite primary school and transferred to a “normal” one. In Singapore’s intensely competitive education landscape, where being in a “good” school can improve one’s future prospects, many would see this as a failure...

Listening to Your Brother

By | 2018-09-17T12:15:55+00:00 September 23rd, 2018|

“You need to listen to me, I’m your brother!” The plea came from a concerned older brother in my neighborhood and was directed to a younger sibling who was moving farther away from him than the older child was comfortable with. Clearly the older child was better able to judge what was best in the situation. How many of us have resisted the wise counsel of a brother or sister...?

In Progress or Completed?

By | 2018-07-19T12:49:37+00:00 August 20th, 2018|

It’s satisfying to finish a job. Each month, for instance, one of my job responsibilities gets moved from one category to another, from “In Progress” to “Completed.” I love clicking that “Completed” button. But last month when I clicked it, I thought, If only I could overcome rough spots in my faith so easily! It can seem like the Christian life is always in progress, never completed...