Everyone Has a Story

So the two of them continued on their journey. When they came to Bethlehem, the entire town was excited by their arrival. “Is it really Naomi?” the women asked. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me home empty. Why call me Naomi when the Lord has caused me to suffer and the Almighty has sent such tragedy upon me?” —Ruth 1:19-21 NLT Naomi was bitter. It’s easy to understand why when we read her story in the book of Ruth. During a famine, when all seemed hopeless at home, she left Israel with her husband and two sons, and they tried to […] Read more »

Reject Future Fears

After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the LORD’s Temple and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed this prayer before the LORD: “O LORD, God of Israel, you are enthroned between the mighty cherubim! You alone are God of all the kingdoms of the earth. You alone created the heavens and the earth. Bend down, O LORD, and listen! Open your eyes, O LORD, and see! Listen to Sennacherib’s words of defiance against the living God. —2 Kings 19:14-16 NLT Sometimes when I think I have it bad in my own life, I go back to stories in the Bible and am reminded of what bad can really look like. And I am not […] Read more »

Helping Others to Stand

But that does not mean we want to dominate you by telling you how to put your faith into practice. We want to work together with you so you will be full of joy, for it is by your own faith that you stand firm. —2 Corinthians 1:24 NLT I was a young wife living far from home when I met her. She had multiple problems far beyond anything I had ever seen in my sheltered life. Her poverty, her lack of cleanliness, and her inability to reciprocate made it a challenging friendship right from the start. I tried so hard to help her. I bought her things. I cleaned up after her. I gave and I gave and I gave. And she took. Sometimes […] Read more »

I Receive This

But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips. —Job 2:10 ESV I was not a happy camper. I had the flu and felt miserable. Also, I felt way too important to be in bed sick, when so many things “depended on me.” Oh, I was a stubborn, angry, prideful mess. I prayed for healing. I asked others to pray for healing. I practically demanded healing. I stayed sick. When I finally came to the end of myself … my ranting and anger and frustration abated … I bowed my rebellious, silly head and whispered, “I receive […] Read more »