Praising Through The Suffering

woman with hand over face

I sat down at the front of the chapel, alone, except for the worship team who was warming up. It was my turn to deliver a devotion to the college, yet I had nothing. After a few weeks of winter sickness hitting our home hard, I had nothing left. For devotions—or anything else, really. Like most winters, our family was all under the weather. Living in a college community doesn’t help with sickness, either. This time, however, my husband, already immuno-compromised, suffered a bout of debilitating migraines as well. I sat at the front of the chapel, almost feeling sorry for myself. My voice still sounded hoarse, my husband’s head was still groggy, and I just felt drained. The last thing I wanted to do was to compose myself to give an encouraging devotional message to the college I work at.  Sitting there, desperately trying to pray for some quick […]

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Like Apples of Gold

apple picking

I recently came across Proverbs 25:11 anew when a friend suggested it as a theme for a women’s night. Intrigued, I began to study it more in depth in one of my favorite ways—reading it in different Bible translations. I’ve personally found this a great way for me to reflect and meditate on a piece of scripture. Here is Proverbs 25:11 in a number of translations: Like apples of gold in settings of silver, is a word spoken at the proper time. (NASB) Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a ruling rightly given. (NIV) A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. (NKJV) Timely advice is lovely, like golden apples in a silver basket. (NLT) Like apples of gold in settings of silver is a word spoken at the right time. (AMP) I love the imagery this verse evokes, comparing a word […]

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Crafted by the Master Artist

house window mountain view

I sat down in my home office recently, excited to spend some time alone crafting. Immediately, I was struck by my view from home.  My window looks out onto an open field, a typical countryside view here in New Zealand. It’s a view that looks different each time I gaze out—yet every time, it calms me. It reminds me that our God is spectacularly creative and a designer without equal. Last week, Bailey wrote about God’s design being everywhere, and it’s so true. When I look out my window and see the colors of the sunset, or when I reflect on the events in my own life, I see God at work. Our lives have God’s fingerprints all over them. Romans 1:20 tells us: “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so […]

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Peace in non-peaceful times

bible reading

As I scroll through social media or overhear conversations between people, I’m overwhelmed with the heaviness people are carrying in 2020. People are anxious, burnt out, exhausted, worried for sick loved ones, uncertain about the future, confused—our world is marked by a lack of peace. If I honestly examine my own thought life during this chaotic year, much of it has been characterized by a lack of peace, too. Wanting to grasp God’s peace during these uncertain times, I recently began searching the scriptures. I came across one of the names of Jesus, as prophesied in Isaiah 9:6, that struck me:  “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (ESV) Prince of Peace, or in the original Hebrew, ‘sar shalom‘.  It sounds […]

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