No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.Matthew 6:24It was a warm September evening, twenty-three years ago. I sat quietly on my bed, gazing through my open window at the brilliant colors that lit up the sky as the sun slowly dipped below the horizon. It was a beautiful scene, but I coul
I sat in a wing-back chair by the blazing fireplace, surrounded by friends on a Wednesday night; our weekly life-group meeting was underway. As I read aloud from Acts 2, I caught myself pausing when I came to verse 42: “...and they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer” (Acts 2:42, NIV).
I grew up in church. Week after week I heard how important the Bible was to the Christian life, the problem was no one taught me how to study it. During my teen years, I read it through a few times, hoping that would suffice. I asked people around me how they studied, but it was little more than reading.
My four-year-old son, Jude, and two-year-old daughter, Jenesis, were thrilled to wake up on a frosty morning last December to see a beautiful blanket of snow and big, fluffy flakes still falling plentifully from the sky. They decided breakfast was less important than beginning their snowy adventures, so they eagerly slipped into their winter gear and ran outside into the yard.
...then let her surrender herself, and follow God along whatever path her loving Lord thinks fit to lead her: whether it be to contemplation or action, to usefulness or enjoyment; whether in sorrow or in joy, let her follow on.– Tauler It was a summer day in sunny Colorado ... yet my mind was 2,000 miles east of where I stood.
Stacey’s eyes overflowed with regretful tears as she watched the lovely bride walk down the aisle in her dazzling white gown. She tried to concentrate on the wedding ceremony but couldn’t keep thoughts of shame and remorse from filling her mind. How would she feel at her own wedding someday, wearing a white dress but inwardly knowing she had given away her purity?
...Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus...Hebrews 12:1-2 NIVExcitement kindled in my heart as I walked up to my front door and saw the much-anticipated package leaning against the frame.
Cannot the same wonders be done now as of old? Do not the eyes of the Lord still run to and fro throughout the whole earth to show Himself strong on behalf of those who put their trust in Him? Oh, that God would give me more practical faith in Him! Where now is the Lord God of Elijah?
The moment she walked through our apartment door, there was an almost-tangible radiance that emanated from her. She greeted us with overflowing warmth, and a delighted smile graced her face. She was an older woman who had recently become a widow. Instead of being subdued and serious, she joyfully testified of God’s faithfulness to her since her husband had died.
I couldn’t focus. My thoughts were zoned in on how much prettier she was than me. So much taller, more put together, her hair more perfect, her clothes more elegant, her manner reserved and poised. I momentarily took an inventory of myself. Bouncy, out-of-control curls, old comfy jeans, layered sweaters, and chunky handmade hemp jewelry.
The air felt oppressively hot and sticky. A haze of dust and grime engulfed me as I watched dirty, half-naked children scamper around the rows of ramshackle cardboard houses. It was hard to fathom that hundreds of people actually lived in this cramped, filthy neighborhood — one of many “colonias” (poor, make-shift communities) near Juarez, Mexico. Most of the ho