Be Still and Know

women

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46: 10 (NIV) The word stillness is not my favorite word by any means. At some point in my life, I completely removed it from my vocabulary. Utterly resolved to venture into a life of productivity, and perfect it, I was prepared to ring in the new year with this mentality. Excitedly writing my hopes, dreams, and things I wanted to accomplish in 2021, I vowed not to hold back—to be proactive and watch the blessing flow. Then December 31st happened.  You know that poem we love to quote? Psalm 23. “The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures.” In theory, it sounds great. In reality, it’s far from it. The keyword here is makes. This situation […]

Continue Reading

The God Who Loves Us Will Hold Us

perfect love casts out fear frame

I’m feeling a sense of sadness today. I work for Southwest Airlines, and I frequently have the chance to give out my buddy standby passes to those around me. So far, I’ve given them out to friends for adventures, mutual connections for birthday surprises, and refugees for their journeys home. This week, I gave out my first buddy passes to friends for funerals. There are no good answers for this, for why death comes to steal, kill, and destroy. There are no easy responses for why Jesus, who has come that we might have “life abundant,” doesn’t sustain earthly life for those we love. Does he not do so because he is unable? Because he is fake? Because he doesn’t care? We’ve seen hundreds of thousands of deaths due to COVID in America alone this year. More people have died from the coronavirus this year than from the flu the […]

Continue Reading

Healing when I’d lost hope

sad woman

Have you ever gone through a trial that seemed like it was just too much to bear?  I have.  Seven years ago, I had hit rock bottom. My marriage had completely fallen apart, and as a result, after five  “good years” I began to wrestle with self-harm again. To be honest, I was a complete mess. At that time in my life, I struggled a lot. The pain felt unbearable. I was having a hard time pushing through each day, and most nights I barely slept at all. I clearly remember one sleepless night when I was sitting at my kitchen table crying out to God, asking Him to help me get through it all. After praying about it for a while, I did what we all do when we can’t sleep and scrolled through Facebook. As it turned out, while I was praying for some words of hope to […]

Continue Reading

Home for Christmas

candles

The pandemic has brought about a lot of changes this year.  For one, it has invoked a whole new meaning to the phrase “home for Christmas.”  Sure, our holiday plans look quite a bit different this year, but one of my primary laments is I deeply miss church. Many parts of the United States differ in their various COVID restrictions, but where I live in California, we have not been able to gather as a Body since March.  Our church is one of the larger churches in San Jose, so we have had the ability and resources to produce a lovely online service.  We can still have “church from home.”  We still have worship. Our pastors still teach and speak to our hearts.  We have had baptisms and guest speakers and missions updates.  We take communion – separate but together.  We meet for Bible studies, prayer groups, and other ministries […]

Continue Reading

God is moving to the ends of the earth right now – even tiny cafes in The Netherlands

people sitting on restaurant chairs

We met in a typical Dutch cafe in the middle-of-the-day Tuesday before Christmas. “It was really nice to hear how you ordered an Americano in English. I always knew I was saying it wrong!”, she smiled and approached me.  “Pardon?”, I asked. “Why, yes!” (Explains Dutch vs. English pronunciation.) “What is your favorite drink to order here?”, I laughed. Zoe was the nicest Dutch woman, heck – one of the nicest people I’d ever met. Her personality was welcoming and eccentric. As a psychology professor who believed in good books and lattes, she definitely looked the part: shoulder-length reddish, unruly hair, and large crooked glasses. She was turning 38 the same exact day I was turning 23. Besides sharing a December 30th birthday, we had many other common interests. Coffee “made wrong” (pictured above), museums, travel, bucket lists, reflection, friendship, the newspaper, research, and freedom for women all over the […]

Continue Reading