Sunday Scripture ~ Jeremiah 5:24

"They do not say from the heart, 'Let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.'"  Jeremiah 5:24 is set in a context of indictment for an opportunity to praise neglected, an observation of God's perfection… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Jeremiah 5:24

A Joyful Life of Listening for the Echo of a Voice

As we find our voice in Christ, we learn to know and sing the music of our soul.

I came of age in an era when all the truly devout and discerning were in search of "the dot." Certain that there was one particular place, vocation, spouse, role, and educational path for me in the mind of God ("the dot"), I agonized, prayed, agonized some more, listened for a clear voice of direction,… Continue reading A Joyful Life of Listening for the Echo of a Voice

Sunday Scripture ~ Deuteronomy 29:29

Are there chapters in your personal story that you wonder about? "Why this, Lord? What good thing could possibly come from bringing this across my path?" If so, you are in good company, for many spiritual giants have pondered the same question. Amy Carmichael, pioneer missionary to India, did her pondering in poetic form with… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Deuteronomy 29:29

A Celebration of Light in a Season of Darkness

Jesus is the Light that shines in darkness.

When autumn lands with all its beauty, it's reassuring that family celebrations around apples and pumpkins and brightly colored leaves will counteract the dread of encroaching darkness and falling temperatures. As the days grow short and the nights longer, Meadow Rue Merrill offers a sweet picture book story featuring an alternative fall celebration that focuses… Continue reading A Celebration of Light in a Season of Darkness

Exploring Depression and Anxiety as Companions in Sorrow

Jesus himself comes to us as a companion in sorrow, keeping company with us in everything that's hard. He sits with us in the chair of unknowing as we wait for shades of light to break through.

Whether you suffer from mental health issues yourself, or you are living alongside someone else who is struggling, you know the challenges that come with depression and anxiety. Counseling, medication, support groups, and pastoral care have saved lives and moved the afflicted into healthy space. Management of our grief and the entire menu of suffering… Continue reading Exploring Depression and Anxiety as Companions in Sorrow

Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 46:7

There’s a reason why, In the architecture of Your perfect poetry, You ordained that this foundation of a phrase Should bear repeating: “The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”  (Psalm 46:7 and 11) Pausing at Your command to reflect on words that should stop me in my tracks everyday (but, often enough, do… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 46:7

Persevering in Extravagant Love for Your Prodigal

Your prodigal has not taken God by surprise.

The story came tumbling out from the heart of a friend at a church picnic. Eyes welling with tears, she shared her story of waiting in the road for her prodigal to return--and she was still waiting. The journey had been long and painful, and she knew well the ache of worry over addiction, the… Continue reading Persevering in Extravagant Love for Your Prodigal

Sunday Scripture ~ Jeremiah 23:24

"Do I not fill Heaven and Earth?" says the Lord.

Jeremiah floats the question, and I almost miss the impact. Coming as it does in the midst of a firestorm of holy fury against the false prophets who are Jeremiah’s contemporaries, the question sounds rhetorical:  “’Am I a God at hand, declares the Lord, and not a God far away? Can a man hide himself in… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Jeremiah 23:24

Blessed Are Those Who Are Nice

As our roots go deep into disciplines of worship, study, obedience, and hope, we begin to see that we are being held in relationship with Christ, and this is where true virtue lives.

When Jesus set the parameters for a blessed life, they must have landed with surprise on the ears of his hillside congregation. The Beatitudes are even more counter-cultural today, for the 21st-century church conveys blessings of a different sort: Blessed are those who keep up appearances; Blessed are you when you look good and say… Continue reading Blessed Are Those Who Are Nice

Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 32:8

Strong promises come with strong verbs, and Psalm 32:8 delivers both: I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you."   When I need wisdom, I want to know that my Counselor knows what he's talking about. When I'm looking for advice,… Continue reading Sunday Scripture ~ Psalm 32:8