The tick of the clock groans, as the old year runs out of time. I echo its groaning. As does all of creation—as it awaits its deliverance . . . redemption. Can a year possibly be more tired . . . broken? I have never been more happy to see a new year dawn! Think of it: a fresh year, with new mercies—like each new day, I suppose. So, isn’t it then just a continuation? Hasn’t God numbered all our days? As much as we may want to put distance between us and last year—with all its
Occupied by many challenges, what was it young Timothy needed to know most? The urging of his mentor likely mimicked what Paul himself remembered most often: “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David” (2 Tm 2:8). In his chains, Paul remembered the gospel. In his suffering, he remembered Jesus Christ—raised from the dead. And that’s what he wanted Timothy to remember, too. It’s what we all need to remember. The grace of God in the remembering gave Paul
How beautiful on the mountains
are the feet of those who bring good news,
who proclaim peace,
who bring good tidings,
who proclaim salvation,
who say to Zion,
‘Your God reigns!’ (Is 52:7) These are what I’m going to refer to as mounting days. Because mounted up on significant trials of life is a global pandemic. People are suffering from stress mounted upon stress. Like the stress that comes from a serious diagnosis, being added to the stress of living in the face of a
Job, a suffering servant of God, in the depths of anguish of flesh, mind and spirit, proclaimed: “And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;
I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!” (Jb 19:26-27) Beloved in Christ, you too will see God. Allow that inescapable “wow” to become audible. The reminder of this truth is a blessed booster for your soul. Who is it that benefits by remembering, “I
What’s brewing around you today, friend? Do you find yourself in the middle of a storm—feeling like there’s no one there to drop anchor? Are you caught in a vortex of raging feelings? What you’re feeling isn’t all there is. Take a moment to breathe-in Romans 5:5: Hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Did you catch the tense? God’s love has been poured out . . . The Holy Spirit has b
It was the last e-mail she ever expected to get. You know–you’ve likely gotten one yourself. That gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, dream-shattering e-mail. She had been hoping, praying, dreaming, planning, working, and saving toward a thrilling opportunity. And then she wasn’t. It’s a dreadful halt when a door you’ve been striving toward is slammed shut in your face. Her voice quivered on the other end of the line. I choked on her disappointment. And I strained against the nois
Thinking back over history, I paused to reflect over each dark period— the worst the human race had to offer; times when evil reigned and all goodness seemed lost. The Old Testament record is filled with eras of sin and chaos. The Israelites knew generations of conflict at the hands of the Philistines, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and a whole long list of “ites.” We don’t have to think back that far, though. No need to reach back into ancient history, searching in eras long p
“You will live away from the richness of the earth,
and away from the dew of the heaven above.
You will live by your sword,
and you will serve your brother.” (Gn 27:39b-40a) Life can drive us away. Away from all that is wholesome and good. “But when you decide to break free,
you will shake his yoke from your neck.” (Gn 27:40b) But God has a way of placing before us someone who will say “But when you decide…” Placing before us hope, empowerment . . . responsibi
“But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.” (Ps 39:7) Bibles often become my keeping place. A place where pieces of my heart are tucked for safe-keeping. Every once in a while, when I come across some treasured scrap, a memory awakens and takes center stage. As was the case recently, when I flipped through a shelved Bible, temporarily taken out of rotation. Still marking the place in Isaiah where the cherished memory was made was the timely note of my then five