A few weeks ago I met up with a good friend for coffee. We hadn’t been able to connect for several weeks, so we spent a few minutes chatting about work and family life, when suddenly the tone of the conversation changed. He began to share with me about how the last few weeks of his life had been very dark, and how he was struggling to figure out what God wanted him to do. Read more
Have you ever come to the end of a really great book and wished it never ended? I remember reading The Lord of the Rings—The Hobbit and the Trilogy—when I was 15 years old and I never wanted it to end. In fact, I tried to stretch out the last few chapters, just to make it last a little longer. I wish there was more.
The Gospel of John ends in a similar manner. John ends it as if to bait us that there is more to the story of Jesus: “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.” (John 20.30). Read more
All I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a mom. I began volunteering in the nursery at church in fourth grade, started babysitting when I was 11 years old, and nannied a little Japanese boy during my college years.
I absolutely loved caring for babies and children.
After Tom and I were married for a few years, we decided it was time to start a family. I was beyond excited. Imagine my heartbreak when things didn’t happen the way I thought they would.
We all have our stories of the desert. My first journey began when I was 17 and all that I knew of my childhood family was shattered. The labor pains leading up to this time began years before, but this was when things really derailed. It was my senior year of high school. I was living on my own trying to make sense of everything that was flipped upside down.
The pain I felt was the only thing in my view.
A dear friend of mine once said to me, “God isn’t up in heaven, scratching his head and wondering what’s going to happen to us next.” This simple statement struck me to the core and was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in my journey.
I’ve often found myself thinking back to that statement and taking comfort in the fact that God is not confused about my future. Read more
The sun rises in the east to begin a new day – even if you live in Michigan and experience weeks on end of sunless grey skies. The splendor of colorful new growth abounds in various forms following a season of rain. These are things I thank God for. While not specifically asking for them, I trust they will happen because I believe Him as the Creator—the one who gives life and makes all things new. Read more
I recently heard the word “glory” defined as God’s infinite and intrinsic weight and worth. God and His glory are what life is all about. Glory is the thread that runs through life and all of eternity.
Genesis 1.1 says, “In the beginning, GOD…” When it all started, when there was nothing, God was. He always has been. Psalm 90.2 says, “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 19.1 says, “The heavens declare the glory of God.” In Psalm 148 creation praises Him. In Philippians 2.10 it says that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is LORD to the glory of God the Father.”
All of this is not for a needy or egotistical God. What he says is true of his character. Read more
The horrific events that occurred in Boston yesterday call out to us to wrestle with trust in the face of trauma. Coupled with life that is filled with times of loss, the issue of worship and trust in the face of tragedy is a difficult one at best. How do we worship in the face of loss? If God is powerful enough to stop tragedy, why doesn’t he? How do we cultivate trust amid traumatic times? Read more
This past weekend Dan wrapped up our time together by giving us a large vision of worship. More than just our time together for an hour each weekend, Dan called us to see all of life as a chance to jump into the offering basket.
I love the bigness of that picture, and I love the completeness of the worship we are called to in Colossians 3.17 – to give everything we say and everything we do as an offering of thanks to God. Big! Epic! I mean, God is big, and the story he’s unfolding in creation is epic. So it makes sense that we should aspire to offer back a big and all-inclusive offering. Read more
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity (Colossians 3.12-14).
Have you ever been around someone who is starting a journey? Perhaps it’s a journey to lose weight, maybe a journey to stop smoking. Or maybe the goal is simply to live healthier all around. There is always the first phase of making the goal and getting excited to start. Then there is the second phase, or “reality” as I call it, of actually going out and changing your habits to reflect your new journey.
If you’re anything like me, the first phase always seems easier than the second. Read more