For moments when you are afraid of death

cemetery during day

Writing has been nonexistent these days. I find myself in a whirlwind of transition and busyness. I can’t tell you how many topics I’ve rummaged through to present a reading to you today. Yet, nothing seemed to take. I found myself thumbing through old content and then I found an oldie that perfectly expresses the weight of anxiety that I feel in this current space. I hope it does your heart as good as it did mine as I revisited it.  ————— The idea of death is crippling. Last night, as I lay in bed, exhausted from the day, I was haunted by the lack of certainty in whether or not I would see the next day. I would feel my body relax, heading into a deep slumber, but I would jolt myself awake – afraid that my last breath may have been my last. See, there’s been this unbearable […]

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Good Friday in a World of Despair

mary holding jesus

What’s so good about Good Friday? This question is one that has been the title of blogs, sermons, articles, and YouTube videos. It is a catchy and clickable quip for Christians and non-Christians alike. Typically, the content gives an explanation of the fact that, while Christ suffered immensely on the cross, His victory over it through the Resurrection is the Good News and the means by which we are saved. It is John 3:16. It is the Gospel. Subsequently, we commemorate this day as Good Friday.  All of these things are true – there is no goodness like the goodness of knowing Christ. He came so we might have life and have it in abundance (John 10:10) along with freedom from the weight of sin. As a person who is notorious for looking on the sunny side of everything, I am tempted to let the cup of suffering embodied on […]

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Starting Your Day with the Sun

How do you start your mornings? Have you ever tried with song?  With the ongoing pandemic and the winter months that can seem so bleak, a hymn of light, hope, and warmth is much needed. Charles Wesley wrote, “Christ whose glory fills the skies” as a morning hymn, and I have been singing it and reciting the words as a devotion in the mornings and on my drive to work.  The words of this song, are a beautiful way to orient ourselves to Him and invite Him into our day: Verse 1 Christ, whose glory fills the skies, Christ the true, the only Light, Sun of Righteousness, arise, Triumph o’er the shades of night; Dayspring from on high, be near; Daystar, in my heart appear. Verse 2 Dark and cheerless is the morn Unaccompanied by Thee; Joyless is the day’s return Till Thy mercy’s beams I see; Till they inward […]

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What will remain when you’re gone?

three children and man at the beach

The best memories of my childhood took place in a greenhouse right around the corner from my own home. My grandparent’s house.  Memories of catching lightning bugs in their yard on humid August evenings. Sleep-overs in their guest room with the best thick shakes and countless rounds of Skip-bo. Pot Roast dinners around their table on Sunday afternoons, with my Grandma’s famous homemade gravy.  Yes, as a child, going to my grandparent’s house was always special. Not because of what they had, but simply because they were there.  My Grandpa had a woodshop in his garage and I used to love watching him work. Mostly, because I could always convince him that my Barbie dolls needed a new bed or couch. I can still imagine him putting aside the cabinets he was working on to measure my dolls and make their furniture for me. My Grandma was always in her […]

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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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Managing Fear in the Midst of a Pandemic

For those of you who don’t know, I live in San Jose, California.  Now, in most contexts, that would not have much significance, but drop that piece of data into a point of time, say March 2020, and suddenly, its significance is great. San Jose is the scene of the third-largest outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States.  The situation is changing so rapidly, that as I have been writing this over the past week, I have had to edit the information I am about to present several times.  The World Health Organization has officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic and our governor banned all gatherings of over 10 people across our whole state.  In my county and the counties surrounding mine, we are under a “shelter-in-place” order, meaning we can only leave our houses in cases of supply runs and emergencies. The President has shut our borders to […]

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Read Scripture Before COVID-19 Headlines

How many people were diagnosed today with COVID-19? How many deaths have there been today? Which celebrities have been diagnosed today? Had you asked me this last week when COVID-19 was beginning to spread rapidly in the United States, I would have been armed with the answers because I have been watching the news so closely. My husband and I would wake up in the morning, open our phones, and look at the news to see what we missed since we went to bed. A similar story followed throughout the day as we anxiously waited to see what exciting new headline would become a topic of conversation. It made it even easier when people we passed by sitting on benches, at the tables next to us at restaurants, and most of our friends were talking about it as well. I noticed two main responses when people began to opine on […]

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Newness and the Never-changing

The Frozen II soundtrack has been on repeat in my home over the past few weeks. On it, there are two songs that stand in contrast to one another. The first is “Some Things Never Change,” which is about the desire for some things in life to remain constant and true. But Elsa’s song, “Into the Unknown,” is a song about stepping out of the ordinary and into something new. It’s a song that foreshadows the changes that are coming for Anna, Elsa, and friends.  While the songs and feelings seem in contrast, they both remind me of the longings we all tend to have, particularly around the New Year. The New Year brings with it the longing for change – that somehow this year will be better than last, that things will be different, that maybe this year we’ll finally be able to stick to our goals and become […]

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Who Can Compare?

No one’s ever said it to me like that before; that it’s a good thing I can’t be like God in every way. But how could I be called to be Christlike (1 Corinthians 1:11) in every way, and yet in some ways never be like Him?

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