Spiritually Exhausted?

By |2019-08-12T17:14:46-04:00August 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...

“Though”

By |2019-08-09T16:01:45-04:00August 11th, 2019|

In 2017, the opportunity to help people in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in the US prompted a group of us to travel to Houston. Our goal was to encourage people who’d been impacted by the storm. In the process, our own faith was challenged and strengthened as we stood with them in their damaged church buildings and homes.

Faithful in Captivity

By |2019-07-18T12:13:53-04:00July 22nd, 2019|

Haralan Popov had no idea what turn his life would take when the doorbell rang early one morning in 1948. Without any warning, the Bulgarian police took Haralan away to prison because of his faith. He spent the next thirteen years behind bars, praying for strength and courage. Despite horrible treatment, he knew God was with him, and he shared the good news of Jesus with fellow prisoners—and many believed...

Never Too Late

By |2019-07-18T12:13:13-04:00July 21st, 2019|

During the anxious moments that followed my mother-in-law’s heart attack, she was fortunate to receive immediate medical care. Later, her doctor told me that treatment within fifteen minutes of a heart attack results in a survival rate of 33 percent for critical patients. But just 5 percent survive if treated beyond that time frame...

Precious

By |2019-07-12T16:28:38-04:00July 16th, 2019|

“My precious . . .” First portrayed in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the image of the emaciated creature Gollum in his maniacal obsession with the “precious ring of power” has become an iconic one today—for greed, obsession, even insanity. It’s also a troublingly relatable image. In his tormented love-hate relationship with both the ring and with himself, Gollum’s voice echoes the hunger in our own hearts...

God Looms Larger

By |2019-07-04T16:29:31-04:00July 7th, 2019|

Giles Kelmanson, a South African game ranger, described the incredible scene: two honey badgers battling a pride of six lions. Although outnumbered, the honey badgers refused to back down from ferocious predators ten times their size. The lions thought the kill would be simple, but video footage shows the badgers walking away with something like a swagger...

Divine Diversions

By |2019-06-24T12:08:35-04:00June 28th, 2019|

It can be difficult when we’re told “no” or “not now,” especially when we sense God has opened a door for us to serve others. Early in my ministry, two opportunities came my way where I thought my gifts and skills matched the churches’ needs, but both doors eventually closed. After these two disappointments, another position came along, and I was selected...

Present in the Storm

By |2019-06-18T12:20:00-04:00June 20th, 2019|

Fire swept through the home of a family of six from our church. Although the father and son survived, the father was still hospitalized while his wife, mother, and two small children were laid to rest. Unfortunately, heartbreaking events like this continue to happen again and again. When they’re replayed, so is the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people...?

Can We Relax?

By |2019-06-12T14:24:23-04:00June 4th, 2019|

Darnell entered the physical therapist’s office knowing he would experience a lot of pain. The therapist stretched and bent his arm and held it in positions it hadn’t been in for months since his injury. After holding each uncomfortable position for a few seconds, she gently told him: “Okay, you can relax.” He said later, “I think I heard that at least fifty times in each therapy session: ‘Okay, you can relax...’ ”