In the Depths? Help from Jonah

August 11, 2022

A single image, from my first few visits to London, is impressed on my mind: the view from the top of an escalator in the larger Underground Tube stations. I remember standing looking at this enormous moving stairway, tilted at a frightening angle, inching slowly but steadily into the depths of London’s underground. Imagine gazing at hundreds of people on this downward trajectory into the belly of London.

This image of downward motion is one which is created by the book of Jonah in the first two chapters. Initially, Jonah goes down to the port of Joppa (1:3).

The Three Best Words for the Brokenhearted

August 4, 2022

In fresh grief, well-meant words can sometimes wound.

Even now, I shake my head at the unhelpful comments I made as a young mom handing over a hot casserole and the painful comments said to me a few years later after my husband died. So when a radio host recently asked me for the three best words to tell someone in grief, I perked up.

Maybe it’s “I love you,” I thought as I waited for his answer. Those words sure comforted me as a new widow. Or maybe it’s “let me help.” Practical love is so needed when life falls apart.

Wake Up Call: Don’t Forget About Eternity

July 28, 2022

Eternity – The Soul’s Destination and Life’s Wake Up Call

Sometimes this life seems like it will last forever. However, with death increasing all around us, you know that life is temporary. As I sit and meditate on God, He has pressed upon my heart something to share with you. I could not help but write a simple but strong reminder to you today. That is:

DO NOT FORGET ABOUT ETERNITY.

“Happy Incidents” from God

July 21, 2022

“Forget not all His benefits.”
Psalm 103:2

It is a delightful and profitable occupation to mark the hand of God in the lives of ancient saints, and to observe his goodness in delivering them, his mercy in pardoning them, and his faithfulness in keeping his covenant with them. But would it not be even more interesting and profitable for us to remark the hand of God in our own lives? Ought we not to look upon our own history as being at least as full of God, as full of his goodness and of his truth, as much a proof of his faithfulness and veracity, as the lives of any of the saints who have gone before?

Restoring Your Soul in Turbulent Times

July 14, 2022

I am all around you, to bless and restore. Breathe Me in with each breath.

The longing for things to be good again is one of the deepest longings of the human heart. It has slumbered in the depths of our souls ever since we lost our true home, for our hearts remember Eden.

Most of the time, this powerful longing flows like an underground river below the surface of our awareness––so long as we are consoled by some measure of goodness in our lives. While we are enjoying our work, or family, our adventures, or the little pleasures of this world, the longing for things to be good again seems to be placated.

Wake Up Call: Don’t Forget About Eternity

July 7, 2022

Eternity – The Soul’s Destination and Life’s Wake Up Call

Teammates,

Sometimes this life seems like it will last forever. However, with death increasing all around us, you know that life is temporary. As I sit and meditate on God, He has pressed upon my heart something to share with you. I could not help but write a simple but strong reminder to you today.

Nipping Gossip in the Bud

June 30, 2022

The Lord loves a straight shooter. How do I know this? Because this is the embodiment of the wisdom imparted in Proverbs, including this helpful little gem: “Put away from you crooked speech, and put devious talk far from you” (4:24).

Crooked speech is talk that isn’t straight. It is bowed, off-kilter, circuitous, meandering. There are a few examples we could name, including outright lying and even hypocritical living, but one of the most glaring examples of crooked speech that is practically epidemic in the church is the sin of gossip. But what is gossip?

Praying for Our Teens

June 23, 2022

Believe it or not, when I began writing Praying the Scriptures for Your Teens, almost every mom or dad I interviewed said the “let my kids get caught” prayer—a parent’s version of Numbers 32:23—was at or near the top of their list. I like that prayer (and my kids will tell you that I prayed it myself, plenty of times), but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it feels a bit risky. As one mom told me, “I hate to pray that my kids’ sin will be exposed, because that’s a prayer that God always seems to answer.”

I know just what she means. God does reveal stuff—and once I get past the initial disappointment or anger over whatever it is, I can find myself battling worry and fear. Was this a one-time whoopsie? Or is it a deeper character flaw in my child, a portent of trouble to come?

4 Ways to Know When You Have Forgiven Someone

June 16, 2022

Forgive.

It’s one of those play calls for Team Jesus that has challenged the best and most upright Pastor, Church Mother, and saint at one point or another. When we are hurt, damaged, or betrayed by someone, it’s not in our human nature to naturally forgive.

Forgiving others will rarely be as easy as breathing or blinking. It takes work and intentionality to begin – and end – the process of forgiveness.

The Christian’s Confidence in Christ’s Compassion

June 9, 2022

Throughout the four Gospels, readers are flooded with examples of the compassion of Christ. In His miracles, Christ shows His compassion by giving sight to the blind, making the lame walk, and curing people with extreme sickness. In His parables, He consistently shows that God’s heart is geared toward compassion and His desire is for His followers to be similarly compassionate.

However, the greatest example of the compassion of the Messiah came at the end of His earthly ministry. Christ’s sacrificial death on the cross for sinners is the culmination of His compassion, an action that allows Christians to be confident in their standing before God.