Monday, April 16, 2018

Child of God

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior when I was a child. I understood the meaning of sin in a simple way: the things we did that hurt people and hurt God. And I certainly knew I had already committed enough of them to separate me from a Holy God.

My Sunday school teacher explained that God loved us, but our sins separated us from Him and there was nothing we could do to restore that relationship. I was horrified, and it was one of the bleakest moments of my young life. I felt the separation and it was terrifying. Then the teacher delivered the good news, the best news:  

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) 

Monday, April 2, 2018

Back to Normal

After a string of stressful events, I long for life to return to normal—for me to return to normal. We all have our ways of dealing with stress, coping mechanisms that kick into gear while we try to balance it all until everything calms back down. I can usually roll with the first couple of punches that life throws, but after the third, fourth, fifth, or more, I start looking for a bed to crawl under. If there is no bed to be found, no relief from the onslaught, then I get a little cranky. Maybe not just “a little.”

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Why

 Great is the Lord and mighty in power;
His understanding has no limit.
Psalm 147:5

I loved soda. Loved to drink it, loved the bubbles, the flavor, and the bite. I drank it every day, sometimes for breakfast. My mother hated soda and hated that I drank it. Over the years I did attempt to quit, but my resolve didn’t last long. The headaches would start, then the cravings. And I missed it. I just really liked drinking soda.

Monday, March 5, 2018

The Well

“It Is Well with My Soul” is one of my favorite hymns. I love the traditional version and the new praise song remakes. The words speak to my heart: “When peace like a river attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to know: It is well, it is well, with my soul” (Horatio Spafford).

When sorrows as big as sea billows have rolled into my life, it has brought tremendous peace to know that my soul has not been abandoned to the waves, but is held safe by larger hands.

Yet, during a recent stretch of hard life circumstances, coming from many different fronts and threatening several of my loved ones, my soul did not feel well … it felt crushed. And when listening to this favorite hymn, the words that used to encourage instead seemed to mock.

It was not well with my soul.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Withdraw to Connect

What Jesus teaches us about time alone
A guest post from Kimberlie Kessler

One of the biggest challenges for me these days is taking time—without feeling guilty—to be alone. I struggle with the idea that I need to be constantly “doing” because simply “being” seems not enough and feels lazy. 

Recently I was convicted of the absolute necessity of quiet time. Not alone, nap time (though that surely has value), but alone time with Jesus. I was talking to my kids about the importance of making time for Him and was reminded of this repeatedly in my own quiet time and readings.

Irony? Coincidence? 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Dance or Drown: Distracted Living

What we can learn from Peter in Matthew 14:22-24
A guest post from Kimberlie Kessler

     As with the weather, I’m certain most of us would prefer to be in control of our “life” seasons; feeling less like we are drowning and more that we are precisely in the place we have calculated ourselves to be in any given moment of time. Financially, physically, professionally.
     To our dismay, but ultimate best, that’s not quite the way things work.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Casting Bread

“Cast your bread upon the waters ...” (Ecclesiastes 11:1)

At my book signing last month, I received a beautiful note from a dear friend. She knows me well—my anxieties, introvert personality, and God’s call to put all that aside and use the gift he has given me to write for him.

She wrote, “the bread is being cast upon the waters ...”

As the New Year is upon us, I have been contemplating what this curious message from Ecclesiastes truly means.