Granola Bar Devotional — Unwise Tooth

I was talking to a tech guy at a computer store and somehow we got to chatting about my church. I explained to him that I loved my church, and I invited him to attend if he didn’t already have a home church. He was gracious and explained that although he was a Christian, for personal reasons, he chose not to attend church. I desired to explain to him how much the church aspect of the Body of Christ has strengthened and transformed my faith, but no matter how I tried to explain my thoughts, I always came out sounding Continue reading

Whispers from the Holy Land — Take Off Your Shoes

We got to know the people on our flight to Israel very well. What started with bad weather cumulated with switched crew members, not enough fuel, engine problems and crew rest requirements. We were delayed a full 24 hours with the same people. In one instance, we had to leave our plane, walk across the airport, go through screening all over again, only to wait on the runway on a different plane. I sat in a middle seat with my husband to the right of me and a young Jewish man to the left of me. Since we were heading Continue reading

Whispers from the Holy Land — Wailing Wall

The fact that I walked the city streets of Jerusalem, making my way to the Western Wall (Wailing Wall) for Shabbat (like the Christian Sabbath) still fills me with awe and gratitude. Just before sunset, the Jewish people (including many Christians) gather together at the wall, praying and crying out to God. There is a male side and a female side of the wall, and men and women write their prayer requests on slips of paper and tuck them into the crevices of the ancient wall. Many people sing, dance, read their religious literature and lean on each other for Continue reading

Forsaken

  The following is a repost from April 2011. May the name of Jesus resonate in your life this Easter! I’ve seen movies and heard descriptions of Jesus’ crucifixion. The physical torture that Jesus experienced is explained in detail, and we see each lash ripping His flesh, the excruciating walk to Golgotha, and the nails hammered into His hands and feet. Many times the pain is our sole focus, and we assume that the fear of this pain explains why Jesus petitioned God at Gethsemane to “take this cup from me.” However, the physical sacrifice is only one aspect of Continue reading

A Ransomed Inheritance

“For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life your inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom paid was not mere gold or silver. It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1.18-19 NLT). No matter how amazing our childhood and upbringing, we will always inherit a standard that is not aligned with God’s Word. And no matter how horrible our childhood and upbringing, God is more than able to align us with His righteous standard. Through Jesus’ work on the cross, every area of emptiness in Continue reading

Verse Meditation: Isaiah 12.2

Can’t Save Yourself “Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation” (Isaiah 12.2 NIV). In our society today, much emphasis is placed on individual strength, ability, talent and determination. These are all great attributes, but they give us very little authority and meaning outside of our relationship with God. When we focus too much on this temporal life and worldly acclaim, we can forget that there’s an eternity to which we belong. This world in which we now live is Continue reading

Internet Cafe: Stuck in God’s Word!

My personal Bible reading time consists of reading through the Bible—Old Testament and New Testament–over and over again. Once I hit the end of Revelation, I head back up to the beginning of Genesis for another read. Last week, I found myself thick in the laws of Leviticus. “Oh,” I thought. “Do I really have to read all these laws again? Can’t I just skip them? Is God really going to show me something new?” I recall that I couldn’t get past chapter five of Leviticus. Every morning I’d wake up and reread it. The entire week was rushed for Continue reading

Prisoner of Hope

“Return to your stronghold, O Prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore you double” (Zechariah 10.2 ESV). Hope emanates easily when glimmers of it glisten over the shadows of our darkest situations. However, when the lights around us diminish and all the good in this life disappear, hope hurts with an impatient ache. Hope halts the closure of disappointment and forces us to linger in wishful waiting. It holds onto an allusive promise hidden somewhere in the impossible, and we must remain—exposed and vulnerable—chained to the tender chains of expectation. God has entrapped us in His promise Continue reading

Verse Meditation: Isaiah 9.2

“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone” (Isaiah 9.2 ESV). There are many metaphors to describe Jesus in the New Testament: vine, shepherd, gate, cornerstone, bread, water, word, etc. However, one that Isaiah prophesies in the Old Testament by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and that Jesus testifies to in the New Testament is “light.” Our world is in darkness because the sins of humanity have separated us from a perfect God. We have been given free will to dwell in Continue reading

Internet Cafe: Swollen Ankles and a Pedicure

When I was almost eight months pregnant with my third child, my feet and legs swelled with edema. The areas between my ankles and calf muscles were especially waterlogged. I tried to rub my legs, but my protruding belly made bending over very difficult. Finally, I decided to treat myself to a pedicure. I wanted my toes to look manicured and painted for my impeding date with the hospital bed. Plus, I knew that many nail technicians offer a small leg massage as part of the pedicure service, so I hoped to get a little relief from the pressure in Continue reading