From Death & Despair to Vitality & Life

During Bible Study this week, we studied the early church in Ephesus and were surprised to read about new disciples who “[had] not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” (Acts 19:1-2) Such a declaration is hard to imagine among Jewish Christians, but reminds us the early church was made up of not only Jewish, but also Gentile believers. The significant role of the Spirit of the Lord … [Read more...]

I Love You, But…

Who among us hasn’t uttered the words, “I love you, but I don’t like your actions?” Parenting seems to bring that statement out a lot. You adore the child God has entrusted to you, yet sometimes cringe at their choices, decisions and actions. It’s easy to turn the gaze inward, and question yourself, thinking, “What did I do wrong? Where did I lead them astray?” And yet we know that … [Read more...]

How Long, O Lord?

You may have heard me share that my two favorite books in the Bible are Leviticus and Lamentations (followed closely by James). Lamentations presents this beautiful dichotomy between the terror and heartache of daily life, and the mercy and love of God. In the midst of describing untold despair, the writer of Lamentations pauses, looks heavenward, and proclaims, “Yet this I call to mind … [Read more...]

Do Not Neglect Your Gift

In a tender exchange between father and son, I witnessed the passing of a baton from one generation to the next - an exchange filled with great hope, anticipation, and sincere prayers for a God-filled future. So intimate was the moment, I felt like I was trespassing; and yet I had been welcomed into the moment, so I sat, watched and learned. So too is our scripture passage from 1 … [Read more...]

Walk in Love

I write this devotion on Election Day, having stood in line at my polling place for almost an hour, and now proudly wearing my “My Vote-My Voice” sticker. Around the nation, American citizens are gathering to cast their vote in local, state and national elections. But regardless what is on your individual ballot, it is the presidential race which has clearly garnered more attention, … [Read more...]

You Are Invited!

Have you ever planned an elaborate dinner or a special party - just to be stood up by those you invited? Maybe the person didn’t even bother to show up, or called shortly before the event with some lame excuse. Either way, it probably became obvious to you that perhaps your relationship was not as important to them as it was to you. Our scripture this week, Luke 14:15-20, features … [Read more...]

An Avoiding God?

Do you believe in mind reading? You know - the ability for someone to read exactly what you’re thinking? If you’ve been walking through some tough times lately - with your finances, health, relationships, or just life-in-general - and you read Psalm 10, you might just be convinced that somehow that author read your mind and wrote down your thoughts! How many times have you wondered, … [Read more...]

Beware of False Prophets

If you watch late night television and you’re like me, you might know it’s easy to get caught up in the infomercials that offer the latest, greatest solution to life’s biggest problems. Sometimes they solve problems I didn’t even know I had! But after watching just a few minutes of the infomercial, it’s easy to become persuaded that I really need whatever it is they’re trying to sell. … [Read more...]

Rediscovering Miriam (part 3)

He said that whenever and wherever his good news would be shared, what I did would also be remembered and told.... Maybe it was that experience - that understanding - that convinced me to stay beside him a few days later. Many of his other disciples had struggled to understand his teaching, especially when he talked about his impending death. And when things didn’t make sense, … [Read more...]