All In or Not

I’ve been thinking lately about people who call themselves Christians. But they don’t read their Bible. They don’t attend church. Do they pray? Do they give a portion of their earnings to God? I’m not judging. I’m wondering.

I want everyone to know Christ in his fullness.  I want everyone to experience heaven.  To truly experience the gift of eternal life to its fullest. God invites us to spend eternity with him.  He wants to forgive our sins.  And it’s essential to have our sins forgiven — in order to see God.  But there is so much more to it than that.  Having our sins forgiven is just scratching the surface.  We need to build a close relationship with God.  We need to walk and talk with him. 

He loves us unconditionally. Nothing we can say or do will stop him from loving us. Can’t we return the favor?


Everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. Philippians 3:8


 Suppose I commit a crime against a stranger and ask them to forgive me, but then never talk to them again.  Never learn anything more about them. And I learn that they are planning the party of the century. But it’s by invitation only.  Why would I expect an invitation from them? I’ve done them wrong. Oh. I’ve confessed, but I haven’t made an effort to show them I’ve made a change in my life. I haven’t spoken to them since the day I apologized. I’ve rarely thought of them, mostly in moments of guilt. So, why would they invite me to their party?  Why would I be allowed to go?

Why would I expect to be received as a welcome guest into their home when I haven’t taken the time to get to know them?  When I haven’t walked the path of suffering or gladness with them. When I haven’t made an attempt to study their lifestyle. Why would I think that I’m worthy to be chosen as a guest of honor in their home when I’ve never invited them into my home?

It’s the same idea for going to heaven. It is by invitation. And there’s a price. Everyone is invited. But have you paid the price? Have you given your life as a sacrificial gift to serving God? Or are you a member by name only? Have you done the work? Put in the time? Do you know what makes God tick? Do you know what he loves? What he hates? Can you feel his presence in your life? Have you seen him work in your life? Can you show proof of your allegiance to him?

If not, what are you waiting for?

Paul was one who persecuted Christians until he had a life-changing experience that led him straight to God. He knew that God had called him from a life of hunting Christians to becoming one of them. So he went all in. He gave his relationship with Christ everything he had. He wanted to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. Paul was willing to suffer with Christ, sharing in his death, so that one way or another he would experience the resurrection from the dead.

Can you say that? Are you willing to experience the mighty power of Christ, as well as suffer for him? It’s all or nothing. Walking the road to Calvary cost Jesus his life. If you choose to walk with him, nothing else matters.

Oh. You may not die a literal death for serving Christ. But you may. Paul did. But have you died to the things of life that seem so important, but are worthless in eternity?

Unmasked

I’ve now added a new accessory to my wardrobe. Face coverings. Masks. And I have this one thing to say about them. I hate masks. I hate wearing them. I hate seeing others wear them. We’re told they’re optional in certain places and mandatory in others. Some choose to wear them. Others don’t. What I’ve learned is not to judge.

These face coverings do just that. They cover our faces. They mask the beauty of God’s creation. How can you tell if someone is smiling at you? How can you understand someone’s words when their words sound garbled? How can you breathe in fresh air when your face is covered?

The mask makes my face hot. It makes my face sweat. It causes my glasses to fog up. Not a pretty sight. Not a pretty feeling.

It’s difficult to recognize someone if the majority of their face is covered. Eyes are a distinguishing feature on a person’s face, but they don’t look very distinguishing when that’s all that’s visible. I want to see the shape of someone’s nose. and their smile. I want to see that double chin or the dimple in their cheek. I want to easily recognize my friends and see the true reflection of who they physically are.

But I get it. We’re all trying to stay safe. We’re doing the best we can with the information we’ve been given. Who knew the world would come to this.


As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17


The thing is. We’re all wearing masks. Oh. They’re not a recent purchase or addition to our wardrobe. We’ve been wearing them for many, many years. We’re trying to cover up sins and weaknesses and flaws. We’re trying to make sure no one sees those parts of us that aren’t pretty. We’re hiding behind masks of our own making.

And it’s killing us.

Sometimes we hide behind a smile. Or a laugh. A snide remark. A criticism. A cruel joke. We don’t want others to see the real us. So we pretend to be someone we aren’t.

So. Wearing a mask is nothing new for any of us. What say we take those masks off and be real. Let’s be vulnerable and show our weaknesses. Let’s ask for help when we need it.  Let’s ask someone to pray for us when we’re hurting. Let’s be brave enough to be honest. Let’s say no when we shouldn’t say yes. And let’s say yes when it is the right time. 

True humility and vulnerability comes with a price. When we allow our hurts to show, we let others see that we’re human. We’re the same as anyone else. Peeling off those masks can be painful. And so real. But bottling up feelings and old hurts can be more painful than ripping them off.

So in our attempts to be safe. To be socially distant. Let’s take this time to be real. and vulnerable. We all know we’re in a strange day. We’re all in this together. So let’s be in this together.

Green Thumb

A few months ago, I bought some plants. Real plants. Live plants. I’ve always liked them, but I hadn’t bought a live plant in years. I’d always had pretty good luck with them, so why not add some live greenery to my home. They produce oxygen. Right?

My issue with live plants in the past has always been the small act of watering them. I forget about it. I water too little. I water too much. I’m never consistent with providing the liquid nourishment that my poor plants need.

But I’ve been trying to make a point of watering these new plants. Oh sure. Sometimes I forget. But I’m determined to keep these plants alive. My motto for watering plants has been to let them dry out. Then water them again.

There’s a problem with that theory.

Some plants always like to have damp soil. But some plants don’t. The labels on the plants give the proper instructions on how to feed them so they will remain healthy and grow. I imagine if I would read the labels and take the instructions to heart, my plants would have a better chance at survival.

I placed two of the new plants on the ledge overlooking the stairs. I’ve been watering them faithfully. Mostly. And they had new growth on them. New leaves were sprouting. I was doing well. I thought. Then a leaf dropped off. And another. Pretty soon, there was no new growth. And then one day this week, all the leaves fell off. ALL. OF. THE. LEAVES. FELL. OFF.

I thought I was doing so well as a plant lady. I guess not.

All I have left is the empty stalk . I’m going to leave it and water it to see if new growth will appear. I don’t think the stalk is dead. I sure hope not. But it does look very odd, barren and all.


The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8


That’s the trouble with life. When things are going your way, you sprout new growth. New leaves of trust and beauty appear. There is the growth of new life, which appears to resemble stability and strength. But deep down in the roots of life, there may be instability. Oh. It doesn’t show its face right away. Appearances can be deceiving. But just the wrong thing said. Or that misunderstanding comes along. Someone calls you out in front of your peers. Or a pandemic hits the world. And your strong wall of defense comes falling down, as if it were built on sand. Now what?

What do you do when every last leaf of strength and beauty fall off all in the same day? What happens to you then? Are your roots grounded in the Word of God? Have you been watering your soul with just the right amount of nourishment? Do you read the instructions of life and apply them over and over to each situation that you face?

Times of uncertainty test us. Fear and doubt come at us at every chance. The enemy of our soul is just waiting for that moment the soul is parched and dry. Thirsty for something that satisfies. And if we don’t continually parch that thirst with the Word of Life, we stand the chance of losing our souls. Drink from the fountain of life and quench your thirst.

And when the bare stalk of life is the only thing standing. When circumstances appear bleak and hope is gone, it is time to water and fertilize. Faith the size of a mustard seed can change the world. Hope is found by continuing to feed the soul with the Bread of Life. Given the proper care, the soul will grow strong and thrive. It takes time and effort.

Boiling Point

It’s easy to get frustrated these days. Annoyed over the most petty things. But emotions have been building for weeks now, and I’ve reached the boiling point. When for once, you want something for nothing and you’re asked to give even more. Enough.

There I said it.

Coworkers asked for a lifeline, but were instead given what feels like a noose. Perhaps I exaggerate, but feeling are raw in the moment.

We asked for mercy. We need some down time, we said. Flex time. So we can have a few hours that we would normally be working to just not work. Sure. They said. That sounds like a great idea. We wanted something for nothing at a time when all we’re doing is giving. But no.

They said sure. Take extra hours off each week. But make them up. You can even work on Saturday and Sunday to make up the extra hours. Go ahead.

Why did a good thing all of a sudden feel like a punch to the gut? Why, in a time when people are suffering. When those working need some time off, we’re slammed with extra work and lack of understanding.

Don’t get me wrong. We’re thankful to be working. To still be employed. We’re just asking for a break before we’re slammed with work and can’t take time off.

We’re all frustrated. Getting more so by the day. But who cares? It seems they’re only hearing the words being said and not the words that aren’t. It would be helpful at a time like this for those in authority to really listen. Sure. They make their own hours. The company is their responsibility. Their personal investment is on the line. They say we’re doing great work. But work some more. They say. And when things get back to normal, we’ll be swamped with a lot more work.

No rest for the weary.

I know I rant. I apologize.


Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 1 Corinthians 13:5


I was so close to taking my frustrations out on those I love. In these moments, even petty annoyances seem like mountains. I was even close to tears. I knew I needed to step back and assess the situation. I knew I needed to go to the One who provides calm when the storm is raging. I opened the Word and searched for words to sooth a frustrated heart.

I read multiple verses until I found the one that stuck a dagger in my heart. The verse that told me I was in the wrong. The verse told me that if I proceeded with using strong words when words of kindness and grace were needed, I was at risk of sinning. So I stepped back. My heart fell on its knees and repented. My soul needs a scrubbing in days like these. I realized my soul covering needs to be replaced every day, because the filter gets full of unwanted sin germs and can no longer filter.

Oh. I’ve lived through worse times. Unemployment. Death of loved ones. So I know I’ll get through this. I know I’ll come out having learned lessons I didn’t know I needed to learn. But in the thick of it, the lessons are hard. And at times, my heart feels hard.

Just when I thought I was doing fine keeping it together during this pandemic, the truth comes out. And I realize it’s uglier than I want to admit. Soul work is hard even when life is all you want it to be. Even harder when life is tough. But I know that God is good even when life seems unfair. And I’ll chalk up this frustrating moment as a life lesson that I don’t want to repeat. Because words once said can’t be unsaid.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

Will Rogers

Greener Grass

I see my neighbor two doors down. He’s working in his backyard every day. Sometimes all day, but mostly in the afternoon. He’s been furloughed, so now is the perfect time for him to lay mulch, plant new bushes, clean up the flowerbeds. So he is. I get it. He has the time, and he’s taking advantage of his free hours.

I, on the other hand, am working full time. From home, of course. My employer has taken the opportunity to make sure all their workers are busy. Very busy. They don’t trust that we’re really working while we’re working from home. There’s no extension of grace to lessen the workload. Even when our clients are postponing the work we do for them, the snap of the taskmaster’s whip is always heard.

Oh. I don’t mean to whine or complain. I am truly thankful to have a job. I’m glad I’m working and and getting my full paycheck. But when I look out the kitchen window and see my neighbor, I sigh with jealousy. I, too, want to be outdoors working in my flowerbeds. I want to pull weeds and drag out my tomato cages. I want to trim the lavender plant.

All my time is spent working. All my neighbor’s time is spent wanting to get back to work. Are we either one content? Are we comfortable with our circumstances? Or does the grass look greener on the other side for each of us?


Turn my eyes from worthless things, and give me life through your word. Psalms 119:37


As I think about this, I feel I must berate myself. I have much to be thankful for. I’ve been unemployed three times, so I know the feeling of uncertainty. I know the fears that I’ve lived my best life. I know the concern that perhaps I’ll never find another job. So, why do I fret when I still have a full time job with a decent salary? What else do I want?

But then I wonder. If I wasn’t working. If I had been furloughed from my job, would I actually go outside and work in my flowerbeds? Would I dare to shop for flowers that I long to plant? Or would I just curl up and read a good book? Do I just want what I don’t have because it isn’t mine to have right now?

Is it safe to say that most of us are never content with where we are in life? That we always want what we don’t have? That we dream of those things that are just outside our reach? And when we get there. To that moment we dreamed of. Is it enough? Are we happy then?

Is this a time to be content or to dream of the future?

When faced with slow progress and seemingly endless delays, You enfold me in your patient Heart.
 
Let me recognize your perfect timing in all things, 
the fullness of your providence.
 
May I be so strong in your Spirit 
that all I do is inspired by you.
 
For you are loving, kind, and gentle,
in you are all the blessings.
 
Let me not be deaf to your voice, 
nor suffer the pain of a rebellious soul.
 
Gentle me, O Loving Guide, 
that I may learn the wisdom of purity, patience and peace.

Nan Merrill, Psalms for Praying

Signs of Spring

I was driving home from running a few errands. After being isolated in the house all week, it felt good to get out and see a little bit of the world. I saw a neighbor and his toddler son working on their lawn mower. I noticed a family of four sitting outside a sandwich shop eating lunch. Most likely, it was their first excursion of the week, too. As I drove, I saw new signs of spring. I realized some trees had already started budding and blooming. I saw some green on trees. Then I noticed white flowers. I knew that soon I would see pinks and purples. The new colors almost take my breath away, as I paused to think of the times we are in.

I remembered the forsythia bush in my back yard. Yellow has never been my go to color, but this spring it jumps out at me as a sign of new life. Rumor has it that snow will fall three times after the forsythia blooms. But this year, there’s no more prediction of snow. Instead, there’s the prediction of illness and possible death. Quarantine. Social distancing. Shelter in place. Face coverings.

But when I see the first signs of spring, I know that new life is forming. The dull color of winter is fading. The gray trees will soon be alive with flowers and leaves. Grass will grow again. Tulips and peonies. Roses and hydrangeas. Zinnias and irises. Fruits and vegetables. All the signs that life goes on are springing into sight. I breathe a sigh of relief knowing that when death can happen so suddenly these days, that life also comes in unexpected moments.


If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 2 Corinthians 5:17


I think of the other season we’re in. It’s the week after Easter. I think of the plan that was fulfilled as an innocent man was put on trial and sentenced to death. Nailed to a cross he never should have been on. Placed in a tomb that wasn’t his. He died a death that didn’t need to happen. But oh. It did. Because out of that death and those days in the tomb, arose a new life that cannot be denied. Oh. It is denied by some. But regardless, the new life that came from that tomb has put the world on notice. That new life is available to all who call on the name of Jesus.

He paid the ultimate sacrifice for us. And in that sacrifice that ended in his death, new life arose from the tomb. That new life brought hope and healing. Forgiveness and fellowship. Sacrifice and sacred selflessness.

For centuries, the stories of this one man’s life and death have been told and told again. Truth has been shared. Lives have been changed. New life blooms each time a soul repents and a heart is changed.

Sure. The truth of his life and death has been denied. There are those who doubt and choose to ignore his miraculous new life. But the truth still stands. And on a day unexpected, everyone will bow and acknowledge this new life. Whether they believed or not, they will bow at the appointed time.

When the veil in the temple was torn in two, new life was claimed.  Direct access to God was now available when that fabric ripped from top to bottom. Day or night. 24/7. God is available at a moment’s notice. The veil was no longer needed. New life. New approach to the throne of God. Immediate access to God Almighty was now available.

When the scales fell from Saul’s eyes, new life began. The one who once hunted believers became a believer. His sins were washed away by the Savior of the ones he hunted. His new life frightened those who didn’t trust him. Others saw the change and accepted the new life for themselves.

 There was a massive earthquake that night when Paul and Silas were in jail. When the jailer thought his prisoners had escaped, he thought wrong. If they had, he thought to kill himself rather than be killed by others. But no one had escaped. He asked what he must do to be saved. Instead of ending his own life that night, he found a new life in Christ.

For the sake of everyone’s souls, the time is ripe for new life. New life with sins forgiven. Guilt and shame are a thing of the past. Bondage removed. Regret dissolved. The old life is gone. A new life has begun. May His name be praised!

What Do They Say

There he was. Hanging on a cross. For the world to see. Oh. Some who witnessed his death were followers of The Way. Others had ridiculed him. Pronounced him guilty of a crime he didn’t commit. Wanting to witness the takedown of a man who stood for everything they were against. And so he died. There on the cross.

There were some witnesses who hadn’t quite made up their minds where they stood on the issue of his guilt. They had witnessed his arrest. They knew when he was dragged to court that the charges were all heresay. But they stood silent. And when the beatings started, they stood in agreement with the brutality. But in their hearts, they doubted his guilt. Oh. They knew they must keep quiet. Or they too would reap the anger and violence upon themselves. So they kept quiet. But they still doubted. They saw innocence when those in authority were pointing the finger of guilt.

So they continued with their charade. Forcing an innocent man up the path to Calvary, carrying a cross that was too heavy to bear. Imagine being those soldiers. How many times did they doubt the guilt of those they were leading to their death. Most likely, not too often. But on this day, there was doubt. and confusion. But they continued on the path to the trio of crosses.

Perhaps some of these soldiers had witnessed miracles this man had performed. Perhaps they drank the wine of his first miracle at that wedding. Perhaps they had seen Lazarus, who had been dead for two days, walk out of that tomb. Or maybe they had seen the paralyzed man leap off his mat and begin walking. But they spoke not a word of what was in their hearts.

Oh. There were mockers in that platoon of soldiers. You see. Not all believed who he was. So they shouted insults and taunted him. They created a crown from a branch of thorns and shoved it on his head. They even dressed him in a purple robe. Not out of respect, but in jest. And when they were finished with the mockery, they led him to be crucified. No dignity. No respect. No honor.

There were those who taunted him. They threw his own words back at him. In his face. You said you were going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. Come down from the cross and save yourself. Even those who were crucified with him ridiculed him.


When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” Mark 15:39


But at some point, the tone shifted. To a certain degree. One thief nailed on a cross next to Jesus continued to hurl insults at him. But the thief on the other side believed. We’re going to die right along with this King of the Jews. He hasn’t even done anything wrong. He asked Jesus to remember him as he moved from life to death. And Jesus assured him that he would have a place in paradise that day.

When the Roman officer who stood facing Jesus saw how he had died, he exclaimed that he truly was the Son of God. He had witnessed the entire crucifixion scene. He saw the tenderness of Jesus’ interaction with the thieves and with his mother. This soldier knew he was seeing God in action. He believed.

It makes me wonder. When I’m going through my toughest week and my life is on the line, what do those who are against me see? When those who have ridiculed and taunted me see me at my weakest, what are they saying about me? When they see me struggling in troubled and difficult times, do they say to themselves, “Truly, this is a child of God.” Or do they wonder if I’m all talk with no action in my faith.

Is my life consistent with the words that I say? Do my actions speak louder than my words? If my life was on the line, would others recognize the work of God in my life? What do others see in me that I’m not aware of?

There are those who deny the existence of God. There are those who doubt the creation story. There are those who are  unwilling to bow to a holy God. There are those who watch from the sidelines but back away from the truth.  But they watch the believers. They see the actions. They hear the words. They listen but their hearts are hardened to the truth. Unwilling to sacrifice their will and lay their soul on the line.

They see believers in their hardest days. They watch as believers walk their most painful steps. They hear the testimony of the faithful followers of the Way. They are watching. They are listening.

When you face disappointment or unfairness. When you are persecuted and ridiculed. When you are innocent but found guilty. Will they say of you in those moments, surely, this is a child of God?

Essential Workers

I got the email last week from my employer. It said that because of the business we are in, we are considered to be essential workers during this pandemic. I was rather surprised, but then I realized that what we do impacts hospitals and long term care facilities.

I must say that I felt a sense of pride. A sense of ownership. I am doing something that can help make this world a better place. I am contributing to the safety of those who have contracted this terrible virus. I am needed.

I also felt a sense of humility. And thankfulness. I am employed. I am able to work every day. All day. I am working from home, but I am doing the job that God provided for me. Little did I know that I would be employed when so many others have lost their jobs. I pray that the small company I work for can remain open during this time of great need and uncertainty. I don’t take this work or this paycheck for granted.

No. I’m not making masks. I’m not caring for sick individuals. I’m not delivering groceries to families. I am not building temporary hospitals. I am not working on a new vaccine or cure. I am not creating a quicker, easier testing method. I am just doing the job I was given. I am helping hospitals and other healthcare providers keep their information safe and secure.

I sometimes wonder if my work really is necessary. If it’s doing any good for anybody. Am I really helping at a time when help is needed all around me? Then I recall the kind emails I have received from multiple clients thanking me for providing them with much needed information during these tumultuous times. They tell me that the information is very timely and invaluable to their work.

Every kind action and word of advice and encouragement are needed at this time. These are times when we are making a difference in our world. Let’s make a good, noticeable difference.


In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:6


I was reminded that God has given each of us a special gift. Oh. Our gifts don’t all look alike. We don’t get to choose our gifts, but each gift is essential in building God’s kingdom. God has assigned each of us a specific role. A special calling in order to fulfill his plan for this world. We must act now. We must be willing. We must obey in order to fulfill his plan. We are essential workers in the kingdom of God.

He has given each one of us a special gift through the generosity of Christ. Ephesians 4:7

If you have been given the ability to prophesy, speak out boldly with the strong faith God has given to you. If your gift is serving others, then serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach your students well. If you are gifted with words of encouragement, then be an encourager to those who need it. If your gift is giving, then be generous because there are those who need to receive. If you are given the gift of leadership, then take that responsibility seriously. Don’t let it go to your head. If you are gifted with kindness, then shower kindness on others with a glad heart.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10

If you can speak, then speak as if God were speaking. If you can help, then help others with the strength and energy that God provides. If you have the gift of helps, then find ways to help others. If your gift is hospitality, then open your home or prepare a meal for others. If you have wisdom, then pray that God gives you wise words when they are needed.

These gifts are given to us to be used. Not to be hoarded or neglected. Some may say they don’t have a gift, but that isn’t true. God didn’t pour out gifts on a select few. He showered every one of us with a gift designed specifically with us in mind. Now it is up to each of us to use that gift. To deny it would be going against our Maker. All of these gifts that God has given are necessary to complete his good works. Each worker is essential. No job is too small or insignificant. There is work to be done. Let’s do our part.

Uncharted Waters

John was sent to live in exile on the island of Patmos as a result of anti-Christian persecution. His crime: he preached the word of God and he lived his life as a testimony for Jesus. He lived and survived alone on that island. All alone.

But he wasn’t alone.

During John’s exile, God was close to him. God was all he had. God spoke to him through a vision. John wrote down everything he saw in the vision. The name of his book is Revelation. It is the last book of the Bible. It’s a unique book full of visions and prophecies. God spoken words in a time of aloneness but never alone.

What does a man do all alone on an island? How does he spend his time? How does he survive? What goes through his mind? Will he be bored with only God to talk to? Does he have God’s word stored in his heart? Can he can dig through the reservoir of his mind and find strength and comfort from his knowledge of Scripture? When all has been lost, is his faith in God alone enough?


Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12


We may feel like we’re living in exile at this moment in history. But we’re not. Some of us are living with family. Some are alone, but they keep in touch with family and friends. If you know someone who is truly alone, reach out. Check on them.

This time in history is a first for everyone. Uncharted waters for even the best of us. Now is the time to gather your family close. Those who live with you. Those you can be with. Keep in touch with family and friends. The contact means so much.

Oh. Things have changed. We can no longer shop in stores. visit a salon. eat in a restaurant. go to a movie. Sure. These closings are temporary, but they’re new to us. We’ve never experienced anything like this. This change will continue without an ending in sight. Who knew?

Private funerals. Private weddings. Even close family members can’t attend. Hospital patients alone without family or visitors. Everyone needs to stay in place.

Oh. It’s easy to be frustrated. My hair appointment was only 5 days away when it was canceled. My grocery store was out of potatoes. The bakery that makes my dogs favorite treats has been out of them for weeks. I’ve had to start working from home. Petty inconveniences.

Lean in. They say. Hold your loved ones a little closer. Look across the room at the one who stole your heart. Think back to the reason they won your heart. And pause. Remember the moments of first love. And recall the reasons you chose to say “I do”. Make the most of this time with your loved ones.

Watch your children as they do homework. Oh. You may have never planned to home school, but now you are. Make the most of it. Be patient. Extend grace. Show mercy. Have fun. Let these days be the good times your kids look back on when they are older.

Allow yourself to become bored. This could spur you on to learn a new hobby. A hobby that could be life changing. Or not. But who knows what change can do for you. Be willing to explore. Read a book. Take a walk. Try a new recipe. Let your hair grow. You have no choice in the matter. Embrace it.

Pay it forward to the grocery worker. Pharmacy staff. Delivery drivers. Bankers. Healthcare workers. First responders. City, county, state and national employees. Everyone needs a break every now and then. Don’t judge a person’s politics. Embrace differences. But keep your convictions.

Lasting self confidence is built in pure faith in God. Trusting and obeying God in the hard times of life builds a strong reliance on him that produces an unmatched strength of character. 

In Christ alone I place my trust. 

This period of isolation may be the time in your life where you reap the greatest blessings from God. This may be the season where you find life’s true meaning. Trust the master of the uncharted waters to lead you to new depths in your walk with him. 

Read a book. Study the Bible. Memorize Scripture. Live out the Beatitudes. Honor those in authority. Pray. Really pray.

That money you would typically spend at a restaurant or sports event or concert. That money you would use to pay for a haircut or a massage or a pedicure. All that discretionary money you aren’t spending right now. Put it into savings. Or give to a needy nonprofit organization. Send an extra check to your church. Give to others in need. After all, how many new clothes or shoes do you need if you’re staying home all day? How much food or toilet paper do you need to hoard when others can’t pay their rent? How do you expect charities to help when they don’t have the funds coming in? How is a church supposed to help in times of crisis if believers aren’t faithful in giving their tithes and offerings?

Be generous. Be the giver. Be the gift. Chart new waters.

Peace in the Storm

In times of uncertainty, it’s easy to doubt God. To wonder what he’s doing. To not understand why he would allow such things to happen. Wondering is ok. Trust is important. God’s word is truth. He is faithful. His promises will always stand. God does not lie.

We don’t like to be inconvenienced. We want to do what we want to do. Sometimes that just can’t and won’t happen. Life will go on. Life may change. But as long as we have breath, God is and will always be good.

God’s promises are true. We can trust him. We may not see his promises fulfilled in our lifetime, but God does not lie. He will do as he says.

Here is a reminder of what God’s Word says. 

In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. John 14:27

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. Hebrews 13:5

God does not give us everything we want, but He does fulfill His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge. Psalm 61:2-3

He will cover you with his wings when you need refuge from the storm. Psalm 91:4

Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This alone I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Psalm 91:1-4


If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. Jeremiah 29:13


This is what the Lord says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s. 2 Chronicles 20:15

The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Exodus 14:14

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, until the destroying storms pass by. Psalm 57:1

I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20

Thank you for your faithfulness, Father. In the middle of trouble. In the storms of uncertainty. Lord, you’re the one thing we count on. Everyday your faithfulness carries us through.

Brian Doerksen