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    Missing My Crowd: A Palm Sunday Lament (but can we really choose trust?)

    It’s just wrong to spend Palm Sunday and Easter at home. I wished I’d been on my way to church yesterday instead of listening to a sermon on line. I so missed seeing our kids waving palm branches. Singing praises and hosannas in a room full of voices blending so strongly that my own is submerged in a sea of praise. My morning began with a silent reading about a day of praise. Jesus riding in, gently, peaceably down the Mount of Olives through the Beautiful gate and the streets of Jerusalem. What was missing yesterday was the crowds. Can you imagine lining up behind Jesus 6 ft. apart? Walking…

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    Trusting God or Toilet Paper

    Business Insider commented today about people’s response to COVID-19. In a series of tweets they described the panic buying of toilet paper and other household goods. In Hong Kong, panic-buying of toilet paper began last month. A fight broke out in Australia over toilet paper and in California a crowd grew unruly in Costco when they learned the store was out of toilet paper and other basic items. The BBC speculated that perhaps the most horrible thing we can imagine is being stranded with only one square left on the “loo roll.” Why in the world has Charmin become so important to us? It doesn’t cure any viruses. But when…

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    Who do you trust?

    Everything fell to pieces six weeks into what should have been my dream life. I had spent years working toward this season, and yet I watched as everything collapsed around me. With each passing day, I sought to hold onto what I believed was God’s path for my life, despite the dysfunction, medical diagnoses, isolation, and rejection that surrounded me. I attempted to stay focused on what I knew to be God’s truth, but God seemed distant and silent. As I trudged through life, the weeks turned into months of uncertainty and silence. I spiralled as the burning question of “why?” remained unanswered. I slowly stopped trusting the Lord for…

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    What Does Trusting God Look Like?

    When friends are frozen by fear and anxiety, I often suggest they recite Psalm 56:3 over and over: “When I am afraid, I will trust in You.” But what does it mean to trust God? What does it look like in real life? How do we understand how to trust Him? I recently asked this question on Facebook and was deeply blessed by the wisdom and experience of friends who have learned how to trust God in the refining fires of life in a fallen world. One scripture reference was cited again and again, probably the best go-to verse on trusting God, Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all…

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    Welcome to My Messy

    My life is messy. Let me just start today by putting the truth out there. Of course, you wouldn’t know my life is messy just by looking at me. Like all of us, I know how to keep going in hard times and I cope when I need to. I used to guard the truth of my life, and I would continually makeover appearances of my exterior life so people wouldn’t ask questions about my internal struggles. Although not everyone goes to extreme lengths to conceal what they fear might look “off,” most of us don’t want others to see our behind-the-scenes messy truth. Since I’m being honest about my…

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    Heartprints

    I Shall Not Want

    “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” This quote from Dickens’ best describes my memories of summer days as a child. I could hardly wait for summer vacation. No school! No homework! The whole day to play. It was truly the best of times. No sooner was school out than the days became too hot to do much of anything. Friends went away on vacation or away to camp. I quickly became bored with no where to go and nothing fun to do.  It was also the worst of times. Sitting in a class room on a warm May day looking out the window as…

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    Who Do You Say I Am?

      Most of us know the greatest stories ever told. Noah, his ark in the flood, and the promise of the rainbow. Moses parting the Red Sea as the Israelites escaped from Egypt. The baby Jesus lying in the manger with shepherds and wise men paying honor to the newborn King. The empty tomb on Sunday morning. Often in stories our focus is on the action or the players or the outcome. But the stories of the Bible have another purpose––to turn our focus to the Author of life. To fix our minds on God. Renowned theologian A.W. Tozer said, “What you think about God is the most important thing…

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    The Clarity of Death

    “It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart” (Ecclesiastes 7:2). My father died recently. He was always sharp, quick with a pun or a play on words, an accountant by trade who worked until he was seventy-seven years old. He was a student of the Bible for almost sixty years. He did a lot of reading, writing, and “sparring” (personal debating) over the years, quoting folks like Barnhouse and Spurgeon in the process. But dementia overtook him these last few years. He could no longer…

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    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…

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    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…