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Be a Blessing

“Every morning, I ask God to make me a blessing to someone today.” says my friend, Dave. Over the ten years I have known him, I have seen ample evidence of God answering his prayer in the affirmative. Make me a blessing. A simple prayer. A curious prayer. Even a bold, adventurous or risky prayer. Blessing is defined as “the act or words of one who blesses” or “a thing conducive to happiness or welfare.” Another definition of blessing says it is “something good that one feels grateful” or “lucky ... Read More »

The Shack: Is Seeing Believing?

Did you see the movie, The Shack? The book just blew me away. Reading it a few years back, I marveled at the creative expression its author, William Young, used to tease out the three Persons of the Holy Trinity and their unique rolls in ministering to one of their beloved when tragedy strikes. The thing is, for me, reading is rarely believing. It may inspire me, but that doesn’t last long. But if you engage my other senses with sights, sounds, camera and action, things get real-er. That’s what ... Read More »

Preparing

Sometimes we have a clear understanding of what Jesus wants us to do. When the disciples asked Jesus, “Where do you want us to prepare for you to eat the Passover meal?” Jesus was very specific, head into town, find a man carrying water and follow him. Then say to the owner of the house he enters, “The Teacher asks: where is my the guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples.” Jesus said the owner will show you a large upper room furnished and ready. The ... Read More »

Feeling the Love at Jeremiah Project

Editor’s Note: Last week 16 middle school students and five leaders traveled to Romney, West Virginia to participate in the Jeremiah Project. The following is a blog post from one of the students on the trip, Sydney Schneider. During the mission trip there were plenty of sermons, but one sermon really stood out and helped me grow in faith with God. The key word in worship that day was “love,” and the verse was 1 Peter 1:22. The verse states, “Since you have purified your souls by obedience to the truth, so ... Read More »

The Ring

On the second day after my mother-in-law arrived from Bulgaria, she gave me a ring. When I asked my husband to translate from Bulgarian to Spanish, he confirmed what I suspected: the ring belonged to my mother-in-law’s grandmother and was passed down in the family from generation to generation. She gave it to me because I’m the wife of her only son, and she wanted me to always have it. For me, it meant a lot. I had only met her a few hours earlier. It was a very tender ... Read More »

The Rain Will Come

It was just a couple of months ago that I remember walking across my lawn thinking how wet the grass had become. With each step taken, I could hear the water squishing under my feet after a very wet spring. The grass, trees and plants were all green and vibrant with color. It seemed that I could almost see the grass growing each week, as I was mowing the lawn more frequently than seemed justifiable. I would come home in the evening, try to get the yard mowed before another ... Read More »

Into the Desert

The sea has parted forming a wall of water on both sides and a commanding voice booms, “You may paaasss.” That’s how I have always pictured the scene as the ancient Israelites marched, en mass, through the red sea on their way out of Egypt. I imagine Moses at the helm, smiling triumphantly, exuberantly and perhaps a little relievedly as his magic staff actually accomplished what God had told him it would: Let my people go! Yet, according to the book of Exodus, the Israelites were none too sure about things, ... Read More »

Perfect Loves Drives Out Fear

“What does it mean when the Bible says perfect love drives out fear?” I asked this question to the thoughtful group of Bible study participants as we gathered around the table at The Lamb Center, a day shelter for homeless and poor individuals where I lead Bible study on Tuesday afternoons. We were studying some of the many places in scripture, which talk about fear and courage. At this point in our discussion, we had landed in 1 John, chapter 4, verse 18. Where God’s love is, there is no ... Read More »

Why are You a Methodist, Anyways?

If you’re like me, you might scratch your head when you consider just how many Christian denominations exist. Sure, we might anticipate religious diversity throughout the world, but who could have anticipated such diversity within Christianity itself? Think about how many churches you pass on your way to work, or better yet, how many churches you pass on your way to wherever you worship on any given week. How can we explain such a wide array of expressions of a supposedly unified faith? In my life, different circumstances have led ... Read More »

A Glimpse of Eternal Life

“ I think that we humans don’t have the capacity to imagine eternity, Mom” said my ninth-grade daughter Joanne. “If we can think of it a little bit, we may live differently.” This short conversation recently grabbed my attention. My daughter’s English class had been reading and discussing the book “Dante’s Inferno.” She was assigned a small group project that explored the different levels of hell as described in the book. When she spoke about her class, she mentioned how she was scared about the conditions of hell portrayed in ... Read More »

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