What Will We Become

What Will We Become?

Read: 1 John 3:1-6 – We are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is (1 John 3:2) I spent my birthday this year at a conference with my husband and some friends. At the end of the conference, I enjoyed taking some time to talk with an acquaintance that is a year younger than I am. As we …

Not a Distant God

Not a Distant God

Read: Luke 12:4-7 – What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them (Luke 12:6). Movie director James Cameron has been responsible for some of the most popular movies of all time: The Terminator, Titanic, Avatar, and others. But what many people don’t know is that far from being removed from the details of filmmaking, Cameron is heavily involved with almost every aspect of the process, from cinematography to creative design. Drawing from his earlier experience as a designer, Cameron even …

Moving Past Memories

Moving Past Memories

Read: Genesis 45:1-15 – You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good (Genesis 50:20). When artist Gary Sweeney decided to sell the home his family had owned for seventy years, he created a unique way of saying goodbye. Sweeney selected and enlarged one hundred family photos, placing them on pieces of plywood. He attached the plywood to the home’s exterior—covering the entire structure in memories. Experiences with our parents and siblings stay with us for life. Good or bad, memories pry into our lives …

There Is Hope

There Is Hope

Read: Psalm 13:1-6 – I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have rescued me (Psalm 13:5). “When you hear the hard news, there are two diverging roads from which to choose. One’s despair—don’t go there. There is hope!” I wrote those lyrics as part of a song that shares what I’ve learned through a lengthy battle with cancer. Today I was talking with a thirty-year-old husband whose wife just found out she has breast cancer. As I strived to give him comfort and …

Transformed

Transformed!

Read: Acts 2:14-41 Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all (Acts 2:41). I once supervised a woman who constantly demonstrated that her greatest strength was also her greatest weakness. She had passion and drive to do a great job but often got carried away in her zeal and had to be reined in. Peter was a man of similar extremes who often reacted out of two things—passion and fear (Matthew 14:29-31). It was with passion he …

Breaking Toward Freedom

Breaking Toward Freedom

Read: Psalm 118:1-9 – In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free (Psalm 118:5) Inky the octopus saw his chance and broke for freedom. In 2014, fishermen found Inky, a small octopus (roughly the size of a volleyball) trapped in a crayfish pot and severely injured. The fishermen delivered Inky to New Zealand’s National Aquarium. Though Inky seemed to adjust to his new home, one of the curators observed how they needed to “keep Inky amused” or he’d get bored. …

A Spiritual Powerlift

A Spiritual Powerlift

Read: – Ephesians 1:18-23 – I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him (Ephesians 1:19) A physical trainer friend of mine will sometimes present his clients with a weightlifting bar with a large amount of weight on each end. He then instructs them to lift the bar, and—of course—they can’t. Next, he tells them to try and lift the weight several times a day for several weeks. After the allotted time, they return and unfailingly report that they …

Avoiding Ditches

Avoiding Ditches

Read: 1 John 2:15-17 – Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do (Joshua 1:7). As we travel country roads observing fields and farms, my husband and I marvel at the beauty we see and also the potential dangers involved in driving down these lanes. On either side of the roads are deep ditches. I …

Songs in the Night

Read: Acts 16:16-40 Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God (Acts 16:25). Keith Getty, cowriter of the classic modern hymn “In Christ Alone,” says that believers in Jesus “want to sing deep things about God.” He would like to see local churches using a rich repertoire of both traditional and new songs—music that can truly carry us through life and its challenges. Getty encourages pastors to select forty to fifty songs they want their people to grow old singing, then make …