Shipwreck

It was a trip for the ages. 

Paul was in prison and had requested a trial before Caesar. That meant he must get to Rome, Italy from Caesarea, Israel. What he didn’t know was that he could have been released from prison if he hadn’t asked for a trial with Caesar. But since he asked, he was sent to Rome.

It was to be a long and dangerous trip over treacherous waters.  On the journey, they met with a huge storm. God spoke to Paul time and again on this journey, so he advised the crew on what to do to survive the trip. The storm lasted 14 days. Imagine. 14 days on a wooden ship in a terrible storm in the middle of the sea. There’s nowhere to go. There’s no chance of escape. They must ride out the storm. Will anyone survive?

When God spoke, Paul listened and shared the message he had been given. God told Paul he would survive the trip and stand in front of Caesar. So Paul was calm. He showed no fear. God was with him. God was for him. Not against him.  Paul listened to God and obeyed. His life was spared. He earned a great reputation on that trip. He stayed true to God during the difficult storm. 

They had started the trip with good intentions. The ship was loaded with provisions and trade merchandise for their stops at different ports. They had even tied a lifeboat and pulled it behind the ship. But when the storm arose and never let up, they had to start throwing items overboard. They had to set priorities on what was most important. In the end, they threw out most everything. Then they realized they were close to land, so they decided to run the ship aground. Their bet didn’t work. The ship hit a sand barge and busted up. 

When the boat began to tear apart, the soldiers thought to kill all the prisoners. But no. The commanding officer wanted Paul alive because he spoke with great wisdom and truth.  So the prisoners were spared.

Everyone had to swim to shore with only the wet clothes on their backs. But everyone survived.

They. Lost. Everything. 

For the full story of Paul’s shipwreck, read Acts 27.


In this way, I will show my greatness and holiness, and I will make myself known to all the nations of the world. Then they will know that I am the Lord. Ezekiel 38:23


We may think we’re living in tough times. This past year has been a blur, but yet our eyes have been opened wide. Some people have had the worst year of their lives. They’ve lost much, and there seems to be no end in sight. They struggle to make ends meet. Their kids are still schooling from home. Unemployment has dwindled or dried up. Thousands of jobs have been eliminated. Families have lost loved ones and haven’t been able to say goodbye.

In this life, as believers, we will struggle. But we persevere with God’s help. God is bigger and stronger than all our earthly struggles. He will see us through the best and the worst of times. In this storm of life, God is calling us to go deeper into our relationship with him. Let’s not just serve God on the surface. Let’s not just serve God on Sunday mornings. Let’s be faithful to him when we need him most. He will not waver or falter. Let’s hold onto him.

We will go through rough seasons in our lives. We may stand to lose everything. We may face loss of life and/or livelihood. But we will survive.  In the midst of the storms of life, God is still speaking. He is still guiding us. We must listen closely and do as he says. We must toss aside the things of life that are slowing us down. We must shift our focus on staying close to God and and obeying him.

Do you feel as if you’re in the worst storm of your life? Are waves of doubt and fear crashing in all around you? Do you fear you may not survive this storm? Have you had to toss aside all the extra baggage that you’ve clung to for security and pride? Have you prepared for the storm? Have you dug deep into God’s Word and filled up with His goodness and mercy? Are you ready for the storm that’s brewing?

And just maybe. Maybe it’s time to stop and count the number of times that God has been with us through other storms. Let’s slow down and remember God’s goodness. His faithfulness. Oh. We may not come out of the storm in the same shape we entered it. We may not come out unscathed. But we can survive and move forward one more time. Let’s remember that the God who helped us in the past will help us in the present and in the future. He never changes.

If we listen for God’s voice and obey, we will be safe in the storm. Oh. The waves may roll and the winds may blow. But God is faithful and stronger than any storm we face. We live in confidence of better things to come. We live in the knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord. We don’t have to suffer in shame. We know that on the day of resurrection, Jesus Christ will receive us into his glory. Let’s live with that bold grace and confidence.

This could be your time. That breakthrough could be tomorrow, or it could be next year. But, you have the opportunity to turn however you’re being tested into a testimony. So many heroes were wounded deeply before they were used greatly!

Tim Tebow

Points of Light

A former President used a phrase in different speeches that called for organizations spread throughout the nation to do good. He asked for people to get involved. He called for a thousand points of light. After he left office, he founded an organization with the same name.

Here’s what he said.

I have spoken of a thousand points of light, of all the community organizations that are spread like stars throughout the Nation, doing good. We will work hand in hand, encouraging, sometimes leading, sometimes being led, rewarding. We will work on this in the White House, in the Cabinet agencies. I will go to the people and the programs that are the brighter points of light, and I will ask every member of my government to become involved. The old ideas are new again because they are not old, they are timeless: duty, sacrifice, commitment, and a patriotism that finds its expression in taking part and pitching in.

George H.W. Bush

It’s a great idea. A thousand points of life. But what does it mean? Does it make any sense? Does it have any meaning in light of current events? This man was on a mission to find willing men and women who would work together to do good.

I am on a mission to find believers who are willing to be a point of light in their neighborhood. In their schools. In their communities. In their churches. Are there people who will stand for truth at all costs?


In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16


As a believer, we have many opportunities to let our lights shine. When we serve the poor, our light is shining. When we give to the needy, our light is shining. When we are persecuted for standing for truth. When we speak words of truth in a conversation filled with lies. When we share our God-given gifts. When we live a biblical life, our light is shining. Let’s shine our light for the world to see.

Duty. A Christian must pray. We must pray about everything. We must pray that the lost seek a relationship with God. We must pray for those who hurt us. We must seek forgiveness for our sins. We must pray for our spiritual, business and government leaders. Whether we agree with them or not. We must pray for our nation to return to God.

As believers, we can’t live this life without God’s help. We can’t do it on our own. We must turn to God on a regular basis to seek His will and His guidance. We can’t serve God alone and in our own strength.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

As Christians, we must forgive those who have wronged us. We must lay down our desire for revenge and forgive others. Forgiving others isn’t an option for those who call themselves believers. We must ask God to give us a heart of forgiveness, grace and mercy.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Ephesians 4:31-32

Sacrifice. We must give ourselves to serving God, at all costs. We must stand strong against the false teachings that are being shared these days. We must live a holy life. That means putting aside the desire to be accepted by those who don’t follow Christ’s teachings. There must be an obvious difference in how we conduct our lives. In the words we say. In the activities we participate in. In the ways we spend our money. What sets us apart may cost us everything in this life, but will reap us an eternal reward. Are we up for the challenge?

And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2

Commitment. Be faithful to God. As believers, we must grow in our relationship with him. We must commit to doing the things Jesus would do. Love others. Forgive. Serve others. At the end of our lives, we need to be able to say we have fought the fight. We have finished the race. We have kept the faith. Our lives must be consistent with Christ’s teaching.

And may you be completely faithful to the Lord our God. May you always obey his decrees and commands, just as you are doing today. 1 Kings 8:61

Patriotism. We on this earth are looking for a homeland. We are strangers and exiles on this earth. Heaven is our home. We must stay true to biblical principles. We can’t let scoffers and mockers dismantle our beliefs. Let’s hold our light high so others can see that our faith won’t be swayed by the evil deeds and words of others. Read the Bible. Attend church. Spend time with those of the faith. Spend much time in prayer. Faithfully support our church with financial offerings.

But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 3:20

As Jesus is the light of the world, so too must we be a light.  We must never try to hide our light when we’re being ridiculed or mocked. In this day of trouble, others are looking for the light but they don’t recognize it. We must be that beacon of hope for them. 

This little light of mine. I’m gonna let it shine.

A Prayer for the Nation

Dear Heavenly Father,

I thank you for the freedom this great country was founded on. For over two hundred years, we have been afforded the right to freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom to live as we choose. For that we are grateful, as we see so many other nations that have repressed and oppressed their citizens. I fear we as a nation are moving toward censorship and persecution of Your faithful followers. Grant us the wisom to follow your ways.

 I pray for the one who now sits in the oval office to have a clear mind and a strong body. For he needs to give this country his best efforts. I pray that his attentions will be undivided as he leads this land. May he be for the values that center around faith, family and country. May he put God first in his every waking breath. I pray that he will seek to be morally and ethically pure. That he will listen for the still small voice guiding him toward truth and purity. May his intentions, thoughts, words and actions be pleasing in your sight, Oh Lord my Rock and my Redeemer. May we honor his position and show respect for him, as well as the one who is a heartbeat away from the same position.

I pray that the new administration will not turn their back on your mighty hand of leading. I pray they will humbly seek your face. For it is arrogance and shamelessness that will cause a nation to fall from your grace. I pray that they will lead without reproach. Open their hearts to seek you and to find you when they seek you with their whole hearts.

I pray for those who stand for stopping heartbeats that have never beat on their own. I pray that the hearts of those individuals will once again beat for the unborn. Oh. That they would seek forgiveness for ending the lives of so many innocent ones. May they have a heart for family values. May they stand for the right to life for all conceived.

I pray for those who seek to push an immoral, ungodly agenda onto this nation. May their plans be thwarted and their goals unrealized. I ask that you place courageous believers in high positions to uphold truth and dignity for a nation founded on godly principles. May they not be swayed by financial offerings or greedy ambition. May they seek only your heart for this great nation.

I pray for those who seek to do harm to the one who has left the highest office in the land. I pray that they will repent of their hatred and venom. Heavenly Father, forgive them when they run to you for forgiveness. And have mercy on their souls when they repent. For they know not what they do. Their hearts have been hardened to the truth. And they no longer seek to show honor where honor is due.


Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14


I pray for the one who has left the oval office. His words and actions have pleased many, but gravely offended others. May he seek your forgiveness even though he believes it isn’t required of him. He too will one day bow before you, as will his accusers. I pray that as he moves to private citizenship that you will guard him from the schemes of the devil. Those of his own making and those who are bent on destroying him. May evil plans not succeed. I pray that you will shield him from danger and protect his family from the evil intent of others. Bless his honest endeavors and may his ventures succeed.

I pray that any hypocrisy and corruption will be exposed at the highest levels. I pray for truth to be shared and applauded and evil to be on full display and punished to the full letter of the law.  Root out the evil and wickedness while it is still day. For the night will fall and the lost will not be saved. Father, heal this nation.

You alone, Father, know the plans you have for this great nation. Have we squandered the good from our children’s future? Will they suffer for the sins of their forefathers? Will they be prepared for the persecution that may fall upon them? Draw their hearts to you. God have mercy, I beg.

Is this change in leadership our final call to repentance? Is this our last opportunity for revival? Father, set our hearts toward our eternal home. For our only hope is in you. Not in a man sitting in a basement or in an oval office. Deliver us from the hypocrisy that is feeding our newsrooms.

 Oh. I pray for believers to desperately seek you while you may be found. May we repent of our selfish ways. May we have contrite and humble hearts. Show us your grace and mercy, I pray. Forgive us for abusing your grace. We so take it for granted.

I pray for those who ignore you. And for those who blaspheme your name. When they finally bow before your throne and call you Lord one day, may they see the folly of their ways. Will you have mercy on their souls or will you allow the harshest eternal punishment? You are Lord and You are God. Your ways are higher than our ways. Your thoughts are higher than our thoughts. Do as you will.

I find myself reaching more and more for my Bible. God, I’m searching for reassurance that you are faithful when our country is faithless. I yearn for the peace that only You can give. I seek comfort in knowing that my heavenly Father loves me even when I am unlovely.

Father, I pray that the revival will begin with me.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Who To Believe

I get massages on a regular basis. Out of need. Of course. I have a scar that has built up scar tissue, and it causes much tightness in my shoulder. So, of course, when the massage therapist advised me to get monthly massages, I obliged. Who wouldn’t? I also have some trouble with my right foot. The muscles get tight, which makes walking uncomfortable. She suggested I keep my feet in their natural state as much as possible. Basically, I shouldn’t wear shoes.

I love this massage therapist. She pursues training in new massage techniques. She uses several different methods to help provide relief to my tight and aching muscles. She seems to work magic. I walk away from her sessions feeling relaxed and renewed.

When this massage therapist moved away a few years ago, I had to find another. I had to find someone else who would be able to provide as much relief for my problems as she had given. It was a difficult task. But I found someone who worked in different ways to achieve the same results. This massage therapist is a man with much strength. He is determined to remove all the tightness from my muscles. His massages aren’t relaxing, but they are effective. They are just what I need.

But he gives different advice. As he was working on my tight right foot the other day, he asked if I wore shoes. I said no. Since I’m working from home, I only wear shoes when I leave the house. He didn’t seem pleased with that news. He acted as if my feet would be better off in shoes, rather than in their natural state.

Who am I to believe? Why wouldn’t allowing my feet to be in their natural state be better than being boxed into a shape formed by man or machine? Would my feet be better off walking on more padding? Should I choose what feels more comfortable or what is easiest for me? How am I to know what is right?


My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Psalms 73:26


I think of my daily walk with God. What words am I feeding my soul? Am I getting a daily dose of God’s word in my diet? Or am I filling my mind full of words written by man about the Bible? There is a lot of truth out there. But there is also a lot of false teaching. My first line of defense must always be God’s word. It’s time to put away the junk food and feast on banquet food.

As I consider how best to care for my feet, I have a choice. What is easiest or what is most effective? Am I willing to pay the price now to have healthy feet, or do I just slip my feet into flimsy flip flops and be carefree? Because later, after years of neglect, there will be a much heavier price.

When I think of my spiritual life, I must consider the price I’m willing to pay today in order to be welcomed into the pearly gates of heaven one day. Is the price today so high that I forfeit it for comfort and pride? If I don’t pay the price today, I will pay it for eternity. The price today is a bargain, really. Serving God faithfully. Obeying his instructions. What do I have to lose? That seems to be the question these days.

I’ve never suffered for being a follower of Jesus. I’ve never been inconvenienced for my faith. I’ve never been persecuted or threatened because I attend church or read my Bible or pray. I’ve never been denied the basic comforts of life because I’m a Christian.

Could that day come? Yes. Will it? Only time will tell. But as for today, I will live for Christ regardless of any discomfort I may face in the future. My hope is in God Almighty and the salvation he freely offered.

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here, in the love of Christ, I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones he came to save
‘Til on that cross, as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin, on him, was laid
Here, in the death of Christ, I live

There in the ground, his body lay
Light of the world, by darkness, slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave, he rose again
And as he stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am his and he is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from his hand
‘Til he returns or calls me home
Here, in the power of Christ, I stand

Keith and Kristyn Getty

Do You Blush

The ending of a prayer this week has sparked a new controversy. Or shall I say. It has added fuel to the fire. Who doesn’t know that saying Amen at the end of a prayer isn’t a statement of gender identification. In an effort to be politically correct, this former pastor made a mockery of himself, not of prayer or faith. And the fact that a former minister is the one saying the prayer says so much about how lost this great nation truly is. Can we honestly say we are a nation under God? Can we?

On a daily basis, the news is streaming acts of ungodliness without shame. As a nation, we are no longer ashamed of our sins. We no longer blush over wrongdoing or apologize for our sins. We do not heed the warning of our conscience any longer. To say that we’ve lost our way is an understatement. Is it possible for this great nation to repent and return to worshipping God? Who is the god of this nation?

Are they ashamed of their disgusting actions? Not at all—they don’t even know how to blush! Therefore, they will lie among the slaughtered. They will be brought down when I punish them,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 6:15

We are clearly living in an upside-down world where right is wrong and wrong is right, where moral is immoral and immoral is moral, where good is evil and evil is good, where killing murderers is wrong, but killing innocent babies is right.

Unknown

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. Isaiah 5:20

Just recently, I realized that I had accepted a belief that didn’t align with Scripture. After voicing that belief to another, I felt my spirit checked to reconsider what I felt was truth. As I realized I had bought into a lie, I knew I needed to repent and follow biblical truth. What I learned was that I need to test every belief to see if it aligns with Scripture. If it doesn’t, I need to pray for forgiveness and turn my thoughts and beliefs toward God.


The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9


We’ve forgotten how to disagree. Nowadays, it seems that we all must agree on a subject or we can’t be trusted. We kill unborn babies in the womb up to the day of delivery. We’ve come to the conclusion that there are more than two genders. Some have gone so far as to demand a change in the way pronouns are used.

The nuclear family is in jeopardy. We no longer blush about making the holy commands of God unholy. We applaud same sex marriage and call it equality. We congratulate our child who wants to change their gender. When was the last time we stood against the destruction of our sacred family values? 

We proudly congratulate an unmarried couple on their pregnancy. It’s assumed that at some point an unmarried couple will live together before marriage. But do they know what God says about such matters? Does anyone care anymore?

We think nothing of spewing out four letter words. We show a falsely perfect family life on social media. And yet we applaud those who have publicly announced the deconstruction of their faith. 

We’ve stopped reading God’s Word. We don’t even know the most repeated Bible stories. We can’t pass down biblical truths that we’ve never learned.

And we call ourselves Christians. 

“Therefore, Jeremiah, go and warn all Judah and Jerusalem. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am planning disaster for you instead of good. So turn from your evil ways, each of you, and do what is right.” But the people replied, “Don’t waste your breath. We will continue to live as we want to, stubbornly following our own evil desires.” Jeremiah 18:11-12

At times, we choose comfort over truth. My question is why are we comfortable with lies? And how does that happen? How long does it take before we have exchanged the truth for a lie? Why do we stay silent when we know the truth?

We’ve forgotten how to spot the lies that we hear or see. False and exaggerated stories fill the news. We don’t look for the truth. We accept what we’re told as gospel. Especially if it’s comfortable for us. 

Why do we choose comfort over truth? Is it because we don’t know truth anymore?

I’m blushing over here. Are you?

Almost Divorced

Mary and Joseph. The couple who almost weren’t a couple. They planned to marry. But before they officially started their life together, it almost ended. Due to no fault of either of them, their marriage would forever be marked by scandal.

Mary was pregnant with a child who wasn’t Joseph’s. 

Imagine Joseph’s fears. The concern. The shame. Knowing he had done no wrong but unable to prove his innocence. Could he trust his bride? Was she being honest?

Imagine Mary’s concerns. Knowing she had done no wrong, but unable to prove her innocence. But who would believe her? Would Joseph trust her? Would her family believe the news the angel spoke? Would Joseph still want to be her husband? Would she be an outcast? But she knew what the angel had told her. And she believed.

It would have been easy for Joseph to win the case in court. Mary was pregnant with someone else’s child. They both knew that. The evidence was stacked against her. What man wouldn’t have dumped her?

But the angel who spoke to Joseph in a dream had a most convincing argument.  But how could it be possible that his Mary had been chosen to birth the Son of God? The Promised Messiah was the babe in her virgin womb. How would they sell that story?

Oh sure. Every Jew was taught that they were awaiting the coming of the Messiah. But why Mary? Why now? So Joseph did the unthinkable. He believed the angel. He kept his vow to Mary. He moved forward with the marriage. He would raise her child. 

The right decision paved the way for Joseph to raise this child in a safe and stable home. Oh. It wasn’t easy. I’m sure. But Joseph could sleep well at night. He could have peace within. He had trusted the all seeing, all knowing God to an unknown future. He willingly accepted the life God laid out for him and his family.

Even Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, recognized who lay in Mary’s womb. And so did the child in Elizabeth’s once barren womb. Mary didn’t need to be vindicated.  But her word and God’s word proved true even before the child was born. And then multiple times after his arrival.  

There were the shepherds who heard the news from the angels. The old man, Simeon, stood in the temple and recognized the baby immediately as the Son of God. And Anna, the prophet, also confirmed the 8-day old baby as the Promised Messiah. Later, the bright star that shone in the east led the wise men to seek this child.

These were no coincidence. These incidents were all by the hand of God. He was moving in his chosen people. The long awaited Messiah was now among them. Carried in a virgin womb. Wrapped in swaddling clothes. Delivered in the town of Bethlehem. Born to be the Deliverance of his people.

 The proof of Mary’s innocence and virtue were in place, if one was looking. 


“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord . “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9


How many times have I almost taken the wrong step, even though the right step was the road less traveled. The wrong step would have been the path of least resistance for Joseph. But the right decision looked foolish in the eyes of his family and neighbors. Who could fault him?  How could he explain the situation to those who asked? Mary and Joseph knew they were in for the long haul. But they didn’t really have a clue what life would be like living with the God Child. 

In our times of uncertainty, it’s easy to choose the obvious path. Especially when it’s what everyone else would do. But I’m not everyone else. And when God clearly says to take the least popular approach, then the response should be just as clear. I wonder how often I have chosen the easier path instead of the one designed by God. No one else has to know. Right? Except for God. But isn’t that enough to make me pause? God knows everything. He knows his plans for me. He knows when I follow his plans and when I don’t. So who am I fooling?

 A life of obedience to God’s will over the ways of the world can be the only choice. It is His perfect plan, even when it doesn’t seem the perfect solution. Even when friends and neighbors offer their unsolicited advice. Turn the other way. They say. Don’t stir up trouble when you don’t have to. Look out for yourself.

But God’s ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His plans are perfect.

Running on Fumes

I can only imagine how Mary felt as she rode that donkey to Bethlehem. Hugely pregnant with a child she never planned to carry. Traveling with a husband she had never slept with. Now she was basically alone giving birth in a strange place without her mother and other women who knew about birthing babies. No baby shower to honor her and provide for the baby’s needs. No one to gently advise her on mothering and wifely duties. She was a woman without, yet she had all she needed. God was with her.

This year has been that type of year for many of us. We’ve lived alone in our own homes. Not allowed to freely live our lives. We wear masks in public. We’re advised to follow the guidelines, yet we see so many of our leaders freely breaking those guidelines when it suits their whims. We’re told we need to lockdown, yet the lockdown is pulling some people and businesses under without hope for survival.

In some states, churches aren’t allowed to meet in person. But you bet that riots welcome any and all unmasked activists with open arms. Indoor dining is banned in some states, unless you’re in a special class of people. Vaccines are being administered, but no one is satisfied with the priority of recipients. Life is turning out to be hard for so many of us who are accustomed to comfort and mild luxury. We have taken freedom and spontaneity for granted.

I’ve said it before, and apparently, I’m saying it again. This has been a tough year. For many reasons. For many people. In many ways.

For most of the pandemic, I’ve been handling things pretty well. Except for the fact that I’m working from home, my life really hasn’t changed. There have been times during the past nine months when I’ve realized I’m happiest when I’m at home. So working from home has been a great relief for me. My commute is non-existent. I haven’t seen the workplace drama queen since early March. I can use flex time each week. Life sometimes feels pretty good.

But then reality hits. Work demands take all the joy out of working from home. Unorganized and lazy coworkers make the job a lot harder than it should be. Management makes changes without vetting them and expects everyone to fall in line. Workers are expected to do more with less. And the list goes on.


You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:3-4


People are on edge this year. For different reasons. Those who lost their jobs are fearful of what lies ahead. Those who are essential workers are running on fumes. And still more is expected.

 I am one of those essential workers. And for that I am grateful. I really am. No. I don’t work in healthcare, but I work with healthcare companies. And my work is never ending. Especially at this time of year. 

I so don’t want to complain. But today, enough is enough. 

I find I am easily annoyed at things I can normally brush off. I find anger bubbling when there’s no need. I find I need to slow my thoughts to find the true reason for my outbursts. I find I’m probably not the easiest to live with in these uncertain times.

I want to be kinder. I want to be patient. I want to hold close those I’m close to. And I find it’s a choice. I must search deep within to learn the reason I am so on edge. The findings aren’t comfortable, but growth never is. And I realize that comfort isn’t a necessity of life. But oh. How I wish it was. And I’m learning that comfort may be a thing of the past. Can I live with that?

I know that my true comfort is in the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is with me in all my trials and troubles. He is with me when life doesn’t seem kind or fair. He is the great I Am. He is my protector and provider. He is with me always. Even to the ends of the earth.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever. Psalms 121:8

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. John 14:27

Love One Another

God sent his Son in an act of love and sacrifice. His Son left heaven to become a baby born to a virgin teenage girl. She hadn’t known a man in the way that one must in order to conceive and give birth. His was an immaculate conception. He was a gift from a God who loved the world and offered eternal life through that swaddled babe.

Truly He taught us to love one another. His law is love and His gospel is peace.

But to you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back. Do to others as you would like them to do to you. Luke 6:27-31

Jesus ate with Zacchaeus, a local tax collector. Zacchaeus had a history of overcharging his neighbors and townspeople for their taxes. He kept the overages and became wealthy. He was hated by the community. But Jesus came along one day and invited himself to have dinner with Zacchaeus. The town was in an uproar. How dare he eat with such a sinner. Didn’t he know how Zacchaeus had treated these people? Why would he stoop so low for such a man? Yet Jesus loved him the same as he loved anyone else. When Zacchaeus repented and returned the money to the rightful owners, he walked away a forgiven man.

Another time, Jesus and his disciples were on a journey and had been walking all morning. They were tired. Jesus sat down to rest at the local well in Samaria. The disciples went into town to buy food. As Jesus rested, a local woman came to draw water. He struck up a conversation with her. Being God in human form, he knew everything about this woman. And he told her things about herself that no one else knew. And then he offered her living water. Water that would quench her eternal thirst. This woman, who was living a life of sin and shunned by her neighbors, was offered eternal life by the Messiah. She knew that Jews and Samaritans didn’t even speak to each other, but here was this Jewish man who offered her the gift she had always been searching for. She ran to tell anyone who would listen.

Truly He taught us to love one another.


So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. John 13:34


The Christmas story is one of love and peace. But soon after his birth, this God babe was being hunted. I’m sure Joseph and Mary didn’t feel like they were surrounded by peace, because it wasn’t too long before they were running for their lives. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him to get up and move his family. That very night, they left for Egypt.

Before Jesus began his ministry, he went to the wilderness to fast and pray. 40 days and 40 nights. Satan came along and tempted him three different times. Even though he was hungry and weak, Jesus resisted and commanded Satan to leave him. When Satan left, angels came to Jesus and took care of him.

During his ministry, Jesus taught love and peace. His love was self sacrificing. Jesus laid down his life for all people. His love provides peace to a hurting world.

This world doesn’t seem to be too loving or peaceful right now. Oh. People are looking for love and peace all right. But they’re looking in all the wrong places. Unkind words are being said and written. How can people even think such things, let alone say them. Selfishness and gluttony seem to be the theme of the day. Yet we look the other way, hoping our sins seem less offensive than the sins of those we are judging. Where is the love? Where is the peace? We wonder how the world has gotten to this point. It’s time we ask ourselves if we’re part of the problem or part of the solution.

Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God’s law. Romans 13:8

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Behold Your King

This year has been both brutal and wonderful all at the same time. Poor combination of adjectives, you say? Yes, it’s been brutal. The entire world has struggled to make sense of a virus that has devastated so many lives in so many ways. And it still isn’t over. Is the end in sight? Only time will tell. Yes, this year has even been wonderful. God is working among us. He is here with us. In the midst of all this chaos, God is right here. He sees our hurts and our longings. He knows our dreams and our plans. God is a giver of life and hope. He gives good things and allows tests and trials to come upon us. But he is with us.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger.

Think about it. God knows our need before we mention it to him. He knows our need even if we don’t tell him. He knows our need even if we deny his existence. He knows our need. He always knows our need. God sees everyone who is struggling. And if there’s been a year to struggle, this is it. There’s no denying that.

God is no stranger to our weakness. He sees our hurts and flaws. He is so familiar with our struggles and our needs. He sees it all. He calls us to shelter under the wing of his strength and righteousness. We can boast in our weakness, so the power of Christ can work through us.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:29

This season is bittersweet for some. Previous disappointments and struggles are reminders of what we’ve lost. Unfulfilled dreams point the finger of failure. It seems that we spend so much of our time focusing on our fears, that we forget to look for hope.  Our strength is in the Lord. Let’s relax in that thought for a second.


Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.” Isaiah 35:4


Oh. Anxious heart. Be not fearful, because he holds you in the palm of his hand. He leads the way when the path is bumpy and unpaved. He knows your name. He knew you before he formed you in your mother’s womb. In your darkest hour of need, our heavenly Father is right by your side. He paves the way when there is no way. He is the lover of your soul. So stand strong. Be courageous. Be willing to fight the enemy as he advances. Resist evil.

Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side! He may have a great army, but they are merely men. We have the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles for us! 2 Chronicles 32:7-8

Why do we tremble before the enemy of our soul? Why do we doubt the God we serve? Our God is mightier and stronger than the devil’s schemes. The enemy is out to bring us down with his disguise of self centeredness. Let’s not focus on ourselves. Let’s focus on the One who saves our souls. The One who gave his life for our sins. He is the Savior of the world. Let’s not be tricked by the enemy. The Lord is on our side. Oh. The enemy of our soul has an army fighting against us. But the lover of our soul fights for us. His truth will stand. We need only to be still. He will prevail.

The Weary World Rejoices

How does a weary world rejoice?

I know people who are weary. I think of the one caring for elderly family members in their own small home. I think of the one going through chemo. I think of the one who has a family member dying of cancer. I think of the one who lost their job earlier this year. They’ve moved on, but change is difficult. I think of the one who was unemployed for a few months and is afraid it might happen again.

I know people who are fearful to be with others. I think of the one who recovered from COVID. I think of families who have lost loved ones to the virus. I think of the frontline workers surrounded by this virus every single day. They’re weary. When will life be normal again?

I see the news. As disturbing and twisted as it is. Who do we believe? We hear elected officials giving orders to do one thing, yet they do the thing they say we shouldn’t. Who can we trust? Both presidential candidates say they won the election. We hear of voter fraud. Will we ever know the truth? We’re weary of all the back and forth of pointing fingers and placing blame.

Some believe that the police should be defunded. Others are holding tight to that blue line. Some fear for safety. Others want revenge. They’re weary of not being heard. They’re weary of being fearful in their own neighborhoods.

Where is our hope? How can we feel joyful at a time like this?

 I must say. This year has been much easier on me than it has on most others. The only change I saw was my commute to work. I’m now working from home indefinitely. But I am weary for the ones who are weary. I am weary of the world’s lament. I am weary from the loss of joy in what is a good life. I am weary thinking of an uncertain future.


Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:4


But then I remember the reason for the season. The weary world has a reason to rejoice.

I think of Mary, the unwed pregnant girl. She was given news that would make most women joyful. But in her day, that was unwelcome news. I’ve never been with a man. She told the angel standing before her. How can it be? But behold. The God who created the universe planted the seed who became the physical Son of God. The young Mary was to give birth to this God child.

Imagine Joseph. When he heard the news of his betrothed’s pregnancy, he didn’t take it well. He knew the child wasn’t his. How could he trust her? He would have to set aside the dream of marrying this girl bride. He was weary thinking of how to tell his family and friends. The village was small. News would travel. Fast. How could he put her away quietly?

But the angel in his dream shared God’s truth that this child was the Son of God. And Joseph chose to believe. He chose to believe. Oh. He would marry Mary and raise the child as his own. But he knew the truth and believed the angel’s message.

Oh. It was a huge belief. The people had waited for so long for the promised Messiah. And now he would be born in the worst of times. There was a census. Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem to be counted. Mary, huge with child, rode a long bumpy ride. Knowing she carried the Son of God, she endured. She was weary. They were weary when they arrived in Bethlehem. No room. They were told. Hugely pregnant and no room for comfort. Instead, they found space with the animals. And in the lowliest of places, the Son of God was born.

It was a starry night. The shepherds in the field saw the star and knew something amazing had occurred. The angel shared the message. Find the babe in the manager. And they did. The shepherds weary from a long day’s work found the baby just as they were told. And yet. They rejoiced. They knew they were in the presence of God wrapped in newborn skin. They worshipped.

So we can rejoice among our weariness. We can choose to believe the truth of God’s love and His gift of salvation. We can set aside the lies the world tells us. The lies that cause our hearts to be weary. We can rejoice. We can choose joy. We can worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Oh. Come let us adore Him. Christ the Lord.