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    Lingering

    Linger means to be slow in parting or in quitting something and tarry means to linger in expectation. These 2 words have taken on new and impacting significance to me lately. I was impressed how Mary Magdalene saw the Lord as she lingered at the tomb (John 20:11-18). Mary not only saw the risen Lord, but she was sent on the crucial mission to go tell the disciples. Mary’s lingering at Jesus’s tomb brought new insights and joy to her soul. John provides another example of someone who lingered. It seems that John wrote the Gospel of John; 1, 2, 3 John; and Revelation in the 90’s A.D. Which means…

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    Living Out of the Heart Jesus Won for Us

    The guests are gone, the good dishes are stored, the decorations are removed, and the Easter story is put away. Wait a minute! The Easter story is not meant to be put away but to be lived year-round! It is so easy to celebrate Easter according to the calendar but neglect to live by the transformational truths every day of our lives. We each have a debt of death to pay to God for our sins, but Christ’s death on the cross cancelled our debt (Rom 6:23; Col 2:13-14). Christ intensely suffered physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in His excruciating death on the cross (in our place). He became sin…

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    The Cure for Existential Anxiety

    Ken Swan explains existential anxiety as “a sense of worry, dread or panic that may arise from the contemplation of life’s biggest questions, such as ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Why am I here?’” People throughout the ages have wrestled with these big questions which can be boiled down to “What is my purpose in life?” People are born with a desire to have meaning and purpose in life. They may sense strong meaning in one season of life over another. Age, health, work, or relationships can seem to define one’s purpose. The inevitable changes in life can bring existential anxiety.  However, the Westminster Catechism, written in the mid 1600’s, declared…

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    This Is Not What I Ordered!

    I read a story a few weeks ago about a couple who went to a fancy restaurant that served their dinner on plates covered with shiny domes. When the covers were lifted, the exact dinners they had ordered were revealed. The author went on to say what we get on our plates of life may be different than what we ordered and maybe something we didn’t want![1] I thought some examples of perceived wrong orders could arrive as difficult relationships with family/friends/work, challenges in health, struggles with finances, changes in locations, or places of service.      The story prompted me to ponder what my plate of life looks like that God…

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    One New Year’s Resolution: Desert Blame and Develop Blessing

    Perhaps you routinely do self-examination to start off the New Year. Some habits need to be developed and others need to be deserted. I unexpectedly found something God had for me to develop—blessing and to desert—blame. The passage in John 9 where Jesus heals the blind man born blind, revealed my need to develop discovering the blessings and desert finding the blame in difficulties. Let’s take a look at that passage. “As He (Jesus) passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked him, ‘Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?’” (John 9:1-2). From an Old Testament Jewish perspective, the…

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    Releasing the Knowledge Trap

    In reading and pondering John chapter 7, verse 18 stood out to me, “The one who speaks on his own authority, seeks his own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of Him who sent Him is true, and in Him there is no falsehood.” Jesus is making a contrast with Himself (who was sent by God with His teaching and sought God’s glory) and others (who spoke on their own to glorify themselves). Others possibly started with some truth but used that truth to glorify themselves. I asked myself a question, “How do I use knowledge?” This question led to other questions: “What are some inappropriate uses of…

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    Cancel the Cancel Culture

    About 2000 years ago, a Samaritan woman came to a well to draw water. She came alone during the heat of the day which was unusual. Generally, women came to the well together as a social time (Gen 24:11; Exo 2:16) and during the cooler part of the day. From John 4, it seems the woman was immoral and an adulterer. Not just 1 time but 5 times. Two thousand years ago, it was typical for the other women to ostracize, ignore, or shun an immoral woman. This unnamed woman, who feels lonely and hopeless, came to the well where Jesus was at. She was surprised to be the recipient…

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    Decrease, Increase?

    John the Baptist’s words in John 1:29 cause me to pause and wonder. Why would his simple words, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” seem so profound? Who was John the Baptist? What can I learn from this unique man that lived over 2000 years ago? These types of questions sent me on a search that revealed some life lessons for me. By God’s great mercy, John the Baptist was born to Elizabeth and Zachariah. Elizabeth was from Arron’s line, Zachariah was from the division of Abijah, they were both elderly and considered righteous in the sight of God (Luke 1:5-7). Because there…

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    The In-House Holy Spirit

    The concept of in-house came to my mind as I was contemplating the Holy Spirit this week. “In-house, or insourcing, is a term used in business to describe the utilization of internal sources rather than outsourcing for activities.”[1] Advantages of in-house as opposed to outsourcing include: less time to understand issues and the way the organization works; better comprehension of the organization’s history and atmosphere; and escalated trust which increases knowledge sharing.[2] Clearly, the Holy Spirit is in-house for every believer (John 14:17; 1 Cor 6:19); yet, His presence and activities are largely ignored.[3] In comparison to a business in-house in the preceding paragraph, the Holy Spirit exhibits the following:…

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    Diligence in Fighting off Habitual Sins!

    Early summer mornings I enjoy my front porch with my Bible and coffee pondering God’s Word and His creation. His birds sing sweetly and the wind blows gently. But lately I have noticed an intruder to my minutes of peacefulness. Red paper wasps. Red paper wasps flying in and out of my house eaves. Because I know they do sting, I began to ponder how to get rid of them. I could get the fly swatter and get after them, I could spray them with wasp spray, or I could go tell my husband. Over the past weeks, I have chosen all three of these options on different occasions. However,…