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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 »

If We All Prayed at Once, Could We Move a Mountain?

I’ve often thought about what would happen if every Christian in the world, or even just in the United States, would pray at the same time in the name of Jesus. Could we actually see a mountain move? In my heart, I believe that yes, we could. I don’t know if I am a rare bird in 2017 or if others agree, but it’s worth a try, isn’t it? This week marks the 65th year that the United States will hold the National Day of Prayer, which was brought to ... Read More »

A Quieter Christmas

The Sears’ catalog was already marked and dog-eared by the time it got to the youngest child. With a sheet of notebook paper I would make my list for Santa, carefully offering page and item number along with a brief description. I was unusually attentive to the task. No need for Santa to blow the one shot a year he had to make Christmas special for me because of poor penmanship or insufficient information. I’m not sure what I did with those lists or how I thought Santa would get ... Read More »

Expectations for a “Perfect” Christmas

Advent has begun once again. We have returned from our Thanksgiving travels, and the Christmas lights are twinkling throughout the house. I have retrieved my Advent devotionals from their spot on the highest shelf in our bookcase, and here I sit once again pondering the meaning of Advent. Longing. Waiting. Expectation. Mystery. The words of Advent sometimes feel awkward and uncomfortable in our hurried, instant gratification world. With Siri at the ready to answer any question with the push of a button and Amazon available to deliver almost anything to ... Read More »

A Celebration of Light

When I grew up in Seoul, Korea, there were war drills. Yes, war drills. On the fifteenth of each month, we had a short 30-minute war drill. Sirens went off, and cars and people had to stop in the middle of the streets, or wherever they were, to hide. Also, there was a special drill at night once or twice a year for an hour when no one was allowed to turn any lights on in their homes. When I was very young, the night drills scared me. My mom, ... Read More »

Why I’m Glad I Write in My Bible

One of the reasons I prefer “real” books over Kindle books and other types of e-readers is my propensity to underline, highlight and make notes while I am reading. Something about the process of marking a particular word or phrase serves to cement the concept in my mind. My Bible is the place where I most often leave behind a trail of ink as I find particular words and verses meaningful. The Bible I use most frequently was a gift from my mother in 2000, so this book has been my ... Read More »

Parrot Lost, Parrot Regained

My mom has two parrots: Morelia and Valentin. They are her happiness. They can sing five songs, three of which are praises to the Lord. Once, Valentin fell and lost consciousness. My mom provided first aid, and he woke up singing a song from his repertoire: “Christ is coming, there are signs. He is looking to save souls. I go with Him, I go with Him. I don’t stay, I go with Him.” My mom cried and sang the song with him, thanking God that Valentin had recovered. Now, Valentin ... Read More »

The Next Fifteen Years

I remember exactly where I was when the question came. It was last June, and my daughter, Emily, and I were on a trail at Calvert Cliffs State Park in Maryland. We were talking about her graduation in 2016 and her plans for the future. The conversation soon turned to me. She asked me how long I had been working at Floris UMC, and I told her 16 years. “Wow,” she said, “that’s a long time!” I said, “Yes, and I have about fifteen more years left to work.” We ... Read More »

When It Rains, It Pours

I write this while sitting in beautiful Hilton Head, South Carolina where I am helping out my parents for 10 days as my dad recovers from surgery. Dad is closing in on 86 years old. Frankly, surgery is not something you wish on anyone of this age, and yet, it was the only option. He’s gone from shuffling around, to walking with a cane, to relying on a walker, to barely lifting his foot as the pain in his knee went on for almost six months. During the last two ... Read More »

Worry

The season of Lent has begun. Lent is a time of prayer and reflection. On Sunday our pastor asked us to read through one of the Gospels and really take a hard look at what Jesus said (in my Bible what Jesus says is in red letters). As I read through those red letters this morning in the book of Luke, I came across this: “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Luke 12:25). There was a time when I was a big worrier. ... Read More »

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