Devotional

The Messiah: Preparing Our Hearts During Advent

I think where we might get confused is that we think of this season leading up to Christmas as one of mere celebration, but its origin was “primarily as a season of preparation – a time for prayer and self-reflection.” I hear what you’re you’re thinking…Wow! Why don’t you just pour cold water on my Christmas?! Hold on…there’s more…

Devotional

Walking in Mystery: The Holiness and Fear in Not Knowing

Mystery. I often wonder why we lose the awe and wonder of childhood. At what point in life do we begin to feel the need to explain – or have explained to us – every, single detail of our existence? When did we decide that we wanted to be lord of our own lives… I mean, that’s what it means, doesn’t it? The incessant, gnawing, obsessive need to know and understand everything…isn’t that a desire to be lord? To deny the presence of any mystery in our lives?

Devotional

Becoming Fearless: Brokenness Leads to Living Fearlessly

Fear blossomed like a sunflower in my chest. I heard every noise, real or imagined, in the house or the basement. It’s embarrassing to remember the times I would call our neighbor over to check the house because I thought I had heard something. This fear lasted so long it was making me physically ill – I was trying to stay awake all night, begging God to keep us safe. I was thinking of escape plans should someone break-in. It was difficult.

Devotional

Shadow of Shame: Step into the Light of Our Savior

The Lord came to break all bondage in our life. Step out of the shadow of shame and into the radiant light of our Savior. Let’s talk about the S word. No, I’m not referring to a curse word. Or even the word “stupid,” which was not allowed to be used in our home when… Continue reading Shadow of Shame: Step into the Light of Our Savior

Devotional

Casual: Standing Firm in Righteousness as Believers

This summer the Christian world has learned of two more Christian stars who have publicly left the fold of faith. They haven’t had a moral lapse; each renounced his faith. One of them had written beautiful, moving worship music. My heart is deeply saddened for them and all whose lives were shattered by their pronouncement. Is God winnowing His flock? Has judgment begun in His house?

Devotional

Silent: Knowing God is Working Even in the Silence

Sometimes God is just hard to get. One moment, He is breaking into our lives with His glory and majesty, answering prayer left and right. We are “living the promises!” Then, the earth seemingly erupts beneath us and chaos ensues. Friends betray us. Illness strikes. Or, like St. John of the Cross, darkness falls across our souls like a damp fog. Morning, afternoon, and evening our hearts cry out to God, but He does not answer. The situation remains unchanged.

Devotional

Suffering With: Compassion’s True Nature Revealed through Jesus

While I was in chaplaincy, I was seeing a wonderful Christian therapist. At times, I felt overwhelmed and deeply inadequate by the needs I faced each day. My heart, my own compassion, could not handle the onslaught of pain and suffering. I remember the day I expressed this to her, she told me, ‘I believe we already have a Savior to handle the world’s pain. We don’t need another one.’

Devotional

Follow: Laying Down Our ‘SELF’ in Obedience to God

There is a passage in Luke, which I have read since childhood, subtitled, “The Cost of Discipleship”. In my past Bible’s, it was in red letters. I imagine over the years I have secretly, self-righteously judged the people to whom Jesus spoke these words, but as I’ve grown older it has become easier to see myself in them…

Devotional

The Potter: Trusting Our Sovereign God to Take Care of Us

Asking God ‘why’ is natural. But we can rest and trust in God; His decisions, His timing. He is the Potter; Sovereign over us, His children. The Life-Force is a sort of tame God. You can switch it on when you want, but it will not bother you. All the thrills of religion and none… Continue reading The Potter: Trusting Our Sovereign God to Take Care of Us