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...

Divinely Aligned

By |2020-04-20T13:59:39-04:00April 24th, 2020|

I was deeply troubled and woke in the night to pace the floor and pray. Frankly, my attitude was not one of prayerful submission to God, but one of questioning and anger. Finding no release, I sat and stared out a large window at the night sky. I was unexpectedly drawn to focus on Orion’s Belt—those three perfectly arranged stars often visible on clear nights..

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...”

Blessed Bread

By |2020-03-27T16:48:36-04:00March 30th, 2020|

When our oldest child became a teenager, my wife and I gave her a journal that we’d been writing in since her birth. We’d recorded her likes and dislikes, quirks and memorable one-liners. At some point the entries became more like letters, describing what we see in her and how we see God at work in her. When we gave it to her on her thirteenth birthday, she was mesmerized...

Chirpy

By |2020-03-20T14:43:12-04:00March 21st, 2020|

For twelve years, Chirpy, a seagull, has made daily visits to a man who’d helped him heal from a broken leg. John wooed Chirpy to himself with dog biscuits and was then able to nurse him back to health. Though Chirpy only resides in Instow Beach in Devon, England, between September and March, he and John Sumner find each other easily...

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..."

Broken to Be Shared

By |2020-03-06T12:18:14-05:00March 10th, 2020|

We met every Thursday after he lost his wife in a car accident. Sometimes he came with questions to which no answers exist; sometimes he came with memories he wanted to relive. Over time, he accepted that even though the accident was a result of the brokenness in our world, God could work in the midst of it. A few years later, he taught a class at our church about grief and how to lament well...

Plans Disrupted

By |2020-03-03T12:29:31-05:00March 5th, 2020|

Jane’s plans to become a speech therapist ended when an internship revealed the job was too emotionally challenging for her. Then she was given the opportunity to write for a magazine. She’d never seen herself as an author, but years later she found herself advocating for needy families through her writing. “Looking back, I can see why God changed my plans,” she says. “He had a bigger plan for me...”